Healthcare Cost Cutting Starts With You and You and You

Christopher Cheney, September 3, 2014

After decades of gorging at the fee-for-service trough, all healthcare industry stakeholders are facing a more austere future.

The healthcare party is over.


Otis Brawley, MD
CMO of the American Cancer Society

Whether you are a young doctor starting out your career with less money pouring into your bank, a health plan forced to spend at least 80 percent of every premium dollar on actual patient care, a citizen "incentivized" to stay as healthy as possible, or a hospital getting lower reimbursement for patient services from government programs such as Medicare… the squeeze is on, or at least beginning.

Don't just take my word for it. Otis Brawley, MD, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, believes excessive spending on U.S. healthcare is both unsustainable and unjustifiable.

"The problem is in the waste in the healthcare system," the oncologist, author, and global leader in health disparities research told me this week. "We spent $2.6 trillion on healthcare in 2010 and $1.1 trillion on food. If the U.S. health economy were a country, it would be larger than France, the world's sixth-largest economy. Yes, in 2010, we spent more on healthcare than they spent on everything in France.

U.S. Healthcare Spending Growth to Resume

"We average about $8,000 per man woman and child for healthcare [per year]. The average per-person costs in the next most expensive countries are at about $4,000. Those countries are Switzerland and Norway… Our percent of GDP for healthcare has grown every year for the past 20 years and will continue growing until it collapses the U.S. economy."

Christopher Cheney

Christopher Cheney is the senior finance editor at HealthLeaders Media.


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