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MEDIA ADVISORY: Download the Thomson Reuters Report on Healthcare Waste Cited Today in President's Healthcare Summit

Friday, February 26, 2010 Press Release J E 4
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- During today's healthcare summit, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, cited the Thomson Reuters white paper, "Where Can $700 Billion In Waste Be Cut Annually From the U.S. Healthcare System?"

The paper, which documented how the U.S. healthcare system wastes between $600 billion and $850 billion annually, can be downloaded or linked to here.

To schedule an interview on the paper's findings with Dr. Ray Fabius, chief medical officer for the Healthcare & Science business of Thomson Reuters, contact David Wilkins at 734-913-3397 (o) or 734-223-3269 (m).

The report quantifies the cost of the most significant drivers of wasteful healthcare spending — including administrative inefficiency, unnecessary treatment, medical errors, and fraud. It is based on a review of published research and analyses of proprietary healthcare data.

President Obama and participants from both parties underscored the importance of addressing the waste and fraud that, according to the Thomson Reuters report, consume one-third of the nation's healthcare expenditures.

Here are some of the study's key findings:

  • Unnecessary Care (40% of healthcare waste): Unwarranted treatment, such as the over-use of antibiotics and the use of diagnostic lab tests to protect against malpractice exposure, accounts for $250 billion to $325 billion in annual healthcare spending.
  • Fraud (19% of healthcare waste): Healthcare fraud costs $125 billion to $175 billion each year, manifesting itself in everything from fraudulent Medicare claims to kickbacks for referrals for unnecessary services.
  • Administrative Inefficiency (17% of healthcare waste): The large volume of redundant paperwork in the U.S. healthcare system accounts for $100 billion to $150 billion in spending annually.
  • Healthcare Provider Errors (12% of healthcare waste): Medical mistakes account for $75 billion to $100 billion in unnecessary spending each year.
  • Preventable Conditions (6% of healthcare waste): Approximately $25 billion to $50 billion is spent annually on hospitalizations to address conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, which are much less costly to treat when individuals receive timely access to outpatient care.
  • Lack of Care Coordination (6% of healthcare waste): Inefficient communication between providers, including lack of access to medical records when specialists intervene, leads to duplication of tests and inappropriate treatments that cost $25 billion to $50 billion annually.

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.  We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization.  With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs more than 50,000 people and operates in over 100 countries. For more information, go to www.thomsonreuters.com.

SOURCE Thomson Reuters

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