New Report Suggests Waste, Including Health Care Fraud, Is One Third the Health Care Budget

Keith Olbermann reported on MSNBC’s Countdown October 27 that President Obama has said that eliminating waste could pay for most of any health care reform package. But critics disagree. Those critics might be more than a little wrong. Olbermann says a new study suggests the President might have underestimated just how much waste there is. The U.S. Health care system wastes $505 billion, perhaps $850 billion, every year. This is according to an independent study by Thomson Reuters.

The report, released October 26, 2009 by Thomson Reuters, attributes most of the waste to unnecessary care, such as the overuse of medications and diagnostic tests. The next largest category of waste is health care fraud, which according to the report, costs $125 billion to $175 billion each year and includes everything from fraudulent Medicare claims to kickbacks for referrals for unnecessary services.

The bad news is that one-third of our health care budget in America is spent on waste. The good news is that this is something we can change and that reporting health care fraud is a significant step in that direction.

For the full Thomson Reuters release, go to:

For more information about qui tam law and health care fraud, contact Nolan and Auerbach, PA