That comes from the IOMís analysis of its own 2010 data. You can see there are a whole bunch of sources for unnecessary spending that range from inefficient services to excess services and administrative costs.
This second chart offers a different sort of explanation, a look at how the organization of our system creates an environment in which itís incredibly easy to waste health-care dollars.
This graphic focuses on elderly patients, who tend to have some of the most complicated (and most expensive) health care needs. As you can see, thereís a lot of space for waste. Not enough preventive care happens, meaning that costly complications may develop. Self-management is a challenge, with seniors literally taking dozens of prescriptions. A lack of coordination between doctors compounds problems later down the line.
So much wasteful spending leaves a lot of space for fixes. The Institute of Medicine recommends a number of solutions and many boil down to a pretty simple idea: Health care should be better-coordinated. Doctors should follow up with patients. There should be continuity of care, meaning that patients see the same doctors who have a better sense of their medical background. Wider adoption of digital records, another IOM recommendation, can help with that.
Iíll leave you with this monster graphic that walks through the IOM recommendations, and the various industries that show us exactly how to implement them: