Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500, Part Two

Here's the follow-up infographic to the one I posted a few days ago, explaining why U.S. healthcare costs are so high. Spoilers: it's not because of smoking, drinking, or the elderly, or even obesity and malpractice lawsuits:

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 - Part Two
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

The main drivers of super-high U.S. health costs are:
  1. Lack of U.S. consumer power over health care costs (i.e. consumers have no bargaining power vis-a-vis health care providers.
  2. Astounding administrative overhead because of our needlessly, irrationally complex system.
  3. Massive outpatient care costs.
  4. Overpaid doctors (relative to other advanced countries, at least).
And in spite of the huge amount of money we spend on health care, we still don't manage to provide health insurance to 40 million people, and we provide only inadequate care to tens of millions more.

What can be done about these problems?


  1. What is the correlation betweeneducation costs and the salary of a Doctor? The reason I ask is because a Polish friend of mine is going to Dentistry school for peanuts- as opposed to my American friends who absorb an ungodly amount of debt for schooling.

    1. shannon: That's definitely a part of it - doctors in general in the USA cost too much money. A US doctor has to take out $250,000+ in loans, so they have a HUGE debt load to pay off, which means that they charge high fees, which leads to more expensive health care.

      Although some of my doctor friends will take offense at this, part of the problem of high health care costs in the USA is that our doctors are overpaid compared to the rest of the doctors on Earth - and part of being overpaid is because they have huge debt loads to pay off.

      -The Angry Bureaucrat

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