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Article published October 2, 2012
Target health care waste
Robert L. Eisler, M.D.Slippery Rock
The highest praise to the Butler Eagle for the editorial of Sept. 25, “$750 billion waste in health care spending must not be ignored.” In my opinion, that was the best presentation of the great trouble in American medical care that I’ve ever read. Yes, in my study of American medical economies for the past 40 years, it is clear that this $2.7-trillion-per-year industry is vastly inefficient and even greedy. Many hospitals, clinics, physicians, pharmaceutical companies and medical insurance companies reap enormous profits. Hospitals declare they are nonprofit and then pile up scads of cash. The editorial is correct. Various recent scientific studies have shown an overuse of medical care of 20 percent to 30 percent. That useless care can be harmful, even lethal. What can be done? A fully developed universal health care bill from Congress could change the system with expert monitoring and fair fiscal control. The whole system would need to be fiscal-transparent. Medical care would need to be an evidence-based process. I would prefer a single-payer system, doing away with the medical insurance industry. Astounding facts concerning treatment and costs have been discovered by the Dartmouth College Atlas (www.DartmouthCollegeAtlas.com) available at no cost. Based on a full financial study of all Medicare recipients in the last two years of life in 360 districts in America, one of their reports shows that the costs in Los Angeles and other major cities are almost twice higher than the treatment at the Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic. The difference is based largely on the high rate being paid for procedures. At the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, the physicians are paid a set salary, and the quality at those facilities is considered to be very high. Now, isn’t that what every customer wants for every purchase: the highest quality at the lowest price? Thank you, Butler Eagle.