Monday, August 27, 2012

When More is Less

In the US, Less is More is not certainly the case when dealing with healthcare according to the
NY Times:

When it comes to medical care, many patients and doctors believe more is better.

A closer look at big issues facing the country in the 2012 Election.
Economy, Planet, Security, World and Health.

But an epidemic of overtreatment — too many scans, too many blood tests, too many procedures — is costing the nation’s health care system at least $210 billion a year, according to the Institute of Medicine, and taking a human toll in pain, emotional suffering, severe complications and even death.

The primary reason for the 210 billion overcharge is the fact the US system is profit oriented, whereby more tests, drugs and treatments mean more money for doctors, big pharma, hospitals and insurance companies while costing the insured and the government billions in cost over runs and needless patient suffering.

As you’ve doubtless heard, this country spends far more money per person on medical care than other countries and still seems to get worse results. We devote 16 percent of our gross domestic product to health care, while Canada and France, where people live longer, spend about 10 percent.

“We spend between one fifth and one third of our health care dollars,” writes Ms. Brownlee, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and former writer for U.S. News & World Report, “on care that does nothing to improve our health.”

Worst of all, overtreatment often causes harm, because even the safest procedures bring some risk. One study found that a group of Medicare patients admitted to high-spending hospitals were 2 to 6 percent more likely to die than a group admitted to more conservative hospitals. (doctor notes/prescriptions) billing (claims) to hospitals/lab/mri/Xray (medical data)

When looking at this, one sees complexification at work because medical systems also do not talk to one another with any degree of fluidity, thus raising healthcare costs even higher in spite of the rise of the web and the standardization of file formats the net has fostered. This metastasizing of healthcare complexity is similar to the complefication of the tax system whereby the US spends an estimated $250 to $300 billion each year to do taxes, a reasonable figure due to the 20 volume IRS created  Title 26 tax tome consisting of approximately 13,348 pages, thus guaranteeing lucrative employment to the highly paid tax accountants and attorneys able to game the system in order for the 1/10th of one percentrs to pay the minimum tax possible.

The Law of Diminishing Returns - When increasing amounts of one factor of production are employed in production along with a fixed amount of some other production factor, after some point, the resulting increases in output of product become smaller and smaller.

Sound about right, doesn't it?
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