The U.S. healthcare system operates like an ATM machine that takes days to release cash. It functions like a home construction project whose carpenters and plumbers use different blueprints. And it does business like a store that prices items depending on who is making the purchase.
It fails to contain wasteful spending, estimated at about $765 billion in 2009 alone, largely from unnecessary and inefficiently delivered services, excess administrative costs and overpricing, and in fraud and missed prevention opportunities.
Those are some of the findings from a 382-page report the Institute of Medicine released Thursday calling for a major overhaul to remove inefficiencies and other barriers to quality care.
The report, "Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America," was prepared by a 17-person committee chaired by Mark Smith, President and CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation.