National Academy of Medicine

Less Is More

By Rita Redberg
September 21, 2012 | Commentary

The United States has the most technologically advanced health care system in the world. Although we spend far more on health care than any other country in the world, we perform poorly on many health measures, such as life expectancy and infant mortality, compared with countries spending much less. This leads one to wonder why the return on our $2.5 trillion investment in health care in the United States is not better. It is estimated that hundreds of billions to $1 trillion or more goes to waste annually—health care spending that does not contribute to the well-being of patients.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.