Waste in the US Health Care System

Health care spending in the United States is rapidly moving at an out-of-control rate, while policymakers are seeking ways to control the speed and spending on a whole. The key is to stop wasteful spending without hurting consumers or lowering the quality of health care that people receive (Health Affairs,” 2012). According to Bently, Effros, Palar & Keeler, (2008), The effects of wasteful spending could be improved by reducing waste itself, and adding that, the cost of health care in the United States is said to be the highest compared to industrial nations with the comparable health care system.

Administrative costs in the United States is projected at 25% to 31% of the overall health care expenses, which amounts to two times that amount of, Canada and much greater in other institution for Economic Co-operation and Development member nations, where studies have been conducted. The U.S. administrative costs are expected to continue rising without reforms to reduce administrative complexity (Tseng, 2018). Studies have shown that at a minimum, 62% of the administrative costs in the US health care system are linked to billing and insurance-related processes.

In the U.S, billing costs are unreasonably high. In addition to insurance, administrative waste includes operational waste, clinical waste created by the production of low-value, government, or accredited agencies that create inefficient or flawed rules and overly bureaucratic procedures, also pricing failures happen when the price of service surpasses the amount when compared to another well operational entity, as well as fraud. Additionally, fake medical bills include the cost of extra inspections and regulations to catch wrongdoing (“Health Affairs,” 2012).

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A well-organized entity ensures an efficient establishment and values outcome; however, in the United State, its healthcare financing structure is complex and burdensome. “Waste in the U.S. Health Care System: A Conceptual Framework” by Bentley, Effros, Palar, and Keeler says “administrative waste is any administrative expenditure that is above that which is essential to achieve the complete goals of the institution or the system as a whole,” (2008). Administrative costs are astronomical in the U.S. healthcare system, it is nearly one-third of all spending. A major portion of these costs is billing insurance-related businesses that are assumed to achieve the requirements of actual payment, from contracting through collections. Almost all BIR businesses are conducted at the provider level and a lower amount at the insurer level. Thus, BIR businesses exhibit the contract cost of a complex payment system. Mainly, it generates inefficiency rather than added value, by itself. The possibility of a deficit modification is possible if there are other benefits (Sanders & Olsen, 2010).

Excess Billing and Related Insurance Administrative Cost some of the complex areas.

Three headings that drive health insurance billing costs at the provider level, complexity describes the first. Within a multi-step process, accuracy and attention to detafeweril are very imperative; hence the BIR steps involve close contact with insurers and subcontracted providers; maintaining benefits databases; determining patient insurance and cost-sharing; collecting copayments, formulary, and prior authorization; coding of services delivered; checking and submitting claims; receiving and depositing payments; appealing denials and underpayments; collecting from patients; negotiating the end-of-year resolution of unsettled claims; and paying subcontracted providers.

Variation is the second and is deemed burdensome. Years ago insurers would merge; thereby, providers would have fewer payers to work with, but they each payer offers many products, and services and customizes products to suit purchasers, like bigger companies. Most times there was no guarantee concerning the size of each provider group, the groups vary in size and could be in the hundreds and thousands, but it didn’t matter because providers had a plan to match everyone’s needs. In comparison to privately managed plans in other developed countries, where there is typically a single primary benefits package, the U.S. providers essential must track plan-specific benefits and reimbursement rules, maintain special databases and benefits experts, and conduct time-consuming checks of plan details prospectively and in response to claims denials.

Friction is the third, where most of the billing steps are considered complicated and sluggish throughout the payment process. Included in this process are priority authorizations and formulary restrictions, high rates of nonpayment for initial submissions, underpayments, and ultimate non- and underpayment. This is discouraging for providers and the process is rarely thought of as being slow and complicated; however, providers feel that the process intends to eliminate or lower their payment levels.

In looking at the U.S. National Health Expenditures, research, and publicly reported data, it was projected that the added BIR costs in the U.S. health care system in 2012 comprised the following sectors: physician practices, hospitals, private insurers, public insurers, and other health services and supplies, which is an indication of its complexity.


The United State health care administration waste is complex, and the level and kind of spending it does could be avoided by implementing some basic normal practices for billing and collections, credentialing, compliance, and oversights. Research has dictated that it is proven that measures can be taken to reduce administrative waste over time. Sahni, (2015) stated that the public and private sectors have made major improvements in reducing costs and strengthening quality. The result of this action was reflected from 2009 to 2013, as well as the value-base payment reforms in the private industry, with Blue Cross and Shield of Massachusetts, along with public reforms, like accountable care institutions and bundle payments proved to be changing the institution and adding to their deficit. They have also made progress in the setting up of the demand-side measures that are getting clients to take control of their purchasing power. The implementation to improve administrative waste also included health plans on the NY Exchange, which require individuals to contribute up to 30% of the cost. Sahni (2015), has concluded that the U.S health care system can reduce wasteful spending by 1 trillion broken down as follows: $600,000 from innovations to eliminate clinical waste, fraud and abuse, administrative complexity, and excess prices; $130,000; adding board system interventions; $170,000 – Incremental savings from comprehensive demand-side and aggressive supply-side reforms; and $140,000 Current savings without new significant interventions s.

Waste and inefficiency can be reduced by using Episode-of-Care Payment to combat poor outcomes and high-level roof expenditures. The episode-of-care payment system is a single amount that covers all of the services that are provided to a patient during a single episode of care; for example, the treatment of a stroke, instead o making separate payments for each, encourages service. As an incentive, Episode-of-care payment gives the providers extra to coordinate their activities, eliminate unnecessary services, and avoid complications that require additional services. Other solutions are to encourage the use of higher-value providers and services, use comprehensive care payment to prevent episodes and the athe encourage use of high-value services, a value-based payment system, and alignment of multiple payers

The GAO in collaboration with the Department of Human Service made recommendations to address administration waste starting CMS, instructing them to provide fraud-awareness training to its optimallyemployees, conduct fraud risk assessments, and create an antifraud strategy for Medicare, including an approach for evaluation. The Department of Health and Human Services agreed with these recommendations and reportedly is evaluating options to implement them.


Despite the agreement on the reality of administrative waste, there is confusion about what exactly is an administrative waste. Undoubtedly, some administrative spending is invaluable to the functioning of the organizations within the health system and the system as a whole. However, it could be defined as waste as any administrative spending that exceeds that necessary to achieve the overall goals of the organization or the system as a whole, according to Bently. Even though this definition is somewhat abstract, it is the framework to identify and quantify administrative waste in the health care system as a whole and for the individual entities within it Bently (2008).

Waste is mostly generated from private health insurance companies, the government, or accreditation agencies that create inefficient or flawed rules and overly bureaucratic procedures. Also,includesoptimallynincludes systems including Clinical waste created by the production of low-value outputs. It is confusing and difficult. Behavior-related Avoidable Care. This is spending that could be avoided were individuals to behave more optimall. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, these are very serious estimates, accounting for one-fourth to more than one-third of total spending attributable to waste.

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Waste in the US Health Care System. (2022, Apr 29). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/waste-in-the-us-health-care-system/

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