Malpractice not causing high medical costs The Next Left A new study says U.S. has the highest medical costs in the world. That, of course, is not n
July 14, 2005
Malpractice not causing high medical costs The Next Left
A new study says U.S. has the highest medical costs in the world. That, of course, is not new. But it also breaks down those costs, and attempts to determine their source.

While medical malpractice is a problem, its costs account for less than 1% of spending. And defensive medicine, where doctors run tests or do procedures to lower their chances of being sued, makes up no more than 9% of total spending, the study of spending in 30 nations found. …
In 2001, the average malpractice award in the U.S. was $265,100. That was lower than Canada's $309,417 and the United Kingdom's $411,171 but higher than Australia's average payment per settlement or judgment of $97,014. All four nations had malpractice payments that represented less than 0.5% of total health spending.

And apparently we’re not getting that much for what we’re paying.
Despite a widespread belief that Americans make frequent use of some of the best medical care in the world, they see doctors less often and spend 20% fewer days in the hospital than most other countries, Anderson said.
Americans checked in for 4.8 hospital days on average in 2003, down from 5 days in 1999 and 7.3 days in 1980, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Another interesting point: in other industrialized nations, insurers negotiate as a bloc with pharmaceutical companies, which helps them get lower prices.

Via Marketwatch
A new study says U.S. has the highest medical costs in the world. That, of course, is not new. But it also breaks down those costs, and attempts to determine their source.

While medical malpractice is a problem, its costs account for less than 1% of spending. And defensive medicine, where doctors run tests or do procedures to lower their chances of being sued, makes up no more than 9% of total spending, the study of spending in 30 nations found. …
In 2001, the average malpractice award in the U.S. was $265,100. That was lower than Canada's $309,417 and the United Kingdom's $411,171 but higher than Australia's average payment per settlement or judgment of $97,014. All four nations had malpractice payments that represented less than 0.5% of total health spending.

And apparently we’re not getting that much for what we’re paying.
Despite a widespread belief that Americans make frequent use of some of the best medical care in the world, they see doctors less often and spend 20% fewer days in the hospital than most other countries, Anderson said.
Americans checked in for 4.8 hospital days on average in 2003, down from 5 days in 1999 and 7.3 days in 1980, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Another interesting point: in other industrialized nations, insurers negotiate as a bloc with pharmaceutical companies, which helps them get lower prices.

Via Marketwatch
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