Oct 8, 2019

25% of health care spending is waste

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Ambulances in southeast Missouri. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post/Getty Images

A quarter of total U.S. health care spending — between $760 and $935 billion every year — is waste, according to a new JAMA study lead by William Shrank, who is Humana's chief medical officer.

Why it matters: We all pay for this waste through our premiums, out-of-pocket spending and taxes, and every dollar of it ends up in someone else's pocket. Meanwhile, the health care industry is thriving.

By the numbers: The study breaks down the wasteful spending into 6 categories.

  1. Failure of care delivery: $102.4–$165.7 billion
  2. Failure of care coordination: $27.2–$78.2 billion
  3. Overtreatment or low-value care: $75.7–$101.2 billion
  4. Pricing failure: $230.7–$240.5 billion
  5. Fraud and abuse: $58.5–$83.9 billion
  6. Administrative complexity: $265.6 billion

The bottom line: This system-wide bloat contributes to everyday Americans' struggle to afford their health care and the large profits being made by the companies that provide it.

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Updates: George Floyd protests enter 12th day

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make new changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 6,852,810 — Total deaths: 398,211 — Total recoveries — 3,071,142Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,917,080 — Total deaths: 109,702 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.