America's hospitals need to go on a diet. Hundreds of billions of dollars are wasted in our health-care system each year. In 2009 alone, $750 billion was spent in the U.S. on unnecessary health services, according to a 2012 report from the Institute of Medicine. Now, a "waste index" developed for hospitals is giving them the information they need to eliminate waste without compromising care. The waste index was developed by Premier Inc., a purchasing alliance among hospitals that conducts quality-improvement programs for its members. The index was created to calculate the average savings that could be generated each year by a typical 200- to 300-bed hospital in each of 15 efficiency measures, including labor productivity, overuse of blood transfusions and unnecessary lab tests.