Prompt: The most effective means of reducing healthcare costs are improving preventive care and reducing excess costs and waste. Preventable deaths are a huge burden on the U.S. economy. For example, tobacco is the â€œlargest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US,â€ yet more than 45 million Americans still use tobacco (American Cancer Society, 2016). Between 2000 and 2012, $133 billion were spent on tobacco-related health care costs, compared to $16.6 billion in France, $9.5 billion in the UK, $6.2 billion in China, and $2.8 billion in Canada (American Cancer Society, 2016). This is a significant amount of money that could be diverted to other resources. Additionally, there is an enormous amount of waste in the health care system that could be reduced. In an article posted in the Harvard Business Review, the largest categories of waste are clinical waste (14% of health care spending), administrative complexity (9%), excessive prices (5%), and fraud and abuse (7%). (Sahni, Kocher, & Cutler, 2017). Reducing this excess could reduce health care costs significantly.
American Cancer Society. (2016). Tobacco: The True Cost of Smoking. Retrieved July 31, 2017, from https://www.cancer.org/research/infographics-gallery/tobacco-related-healthcare-costs.html
Sahni, N., A., Kocher, B., & Cutler, D. M. (2017, May 08). How the U.S. Can Reduce Waste in Health Care Spending by $1 Trillion. Retrieved July 30, 2017, from https://hbr.org/2015/10/how-the-u-s-can-reduce-waste-in-health-care-spending-by-1-trillion
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