IOM report: Technology, performance incentives could transform U.S. healthcare system

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Although waste and inefficiency plague the U.S. healthcare system, the use of emerging technologies and payment reforms could have a transformative effect, a new report asserts.

Roughly 30% of healthcare spending in 2009 was wasted on unnecessary services, excessive administrative costs, fraud, and other problems, according to an expert committee convened by the Institute of Medicine. However, committee members stressed that the United States has “the know-how and technology to make substantial improvement on costs and quality.” 

The report, Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America, urges providers to collect and utilize clinical data at the point of care. The report also encouraged policymakers to offer financial incentives for improved outcomes.

“If the care in every state were of the quality delivered by the highest-performing state, an estimated 75,000 fewer deaths would have occurred across the country in 2005,” the report says.

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