Higher U.S. Physician Spending Doesn’t Lead to Better Patient Outcomes

mar17-13-522846088-850x478Health care spending in the United States reached $3.2 trillion in 2013, which accounted for 17% of U.S. GDP. This is almost twice as much as the OECD average of 9%, yet health outcomes in the U.S. are not twice as good as in these other countries. In fact, many outcomes are worse. For example, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. is 78.8 years, which falls short of the OECD average of 80.5 years.

Health care spending also varies substantially within the United States. Many studies have documented enormous geographic variation in spending, finding no clear relationship with quality of care and health outcomes. While some differences in spending and patient outcomes are due to factors outside the health care system, this evidence suggests that there is considerable waste in U.S. health care spending. Many have concluded that at least 20% of spending could be reduced without harming patients.

By Yusuke Tsugawa & Anupam B. Jena | Harvard Business Review

Image Credit: Harvard Business Review


About Peter Coffaro 439 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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