Staggering Levels of Health Spending in U.S.


From the Center for Health Journalism: In 2015, the U.S. spent a staggering $3.2 trillion on health care. This budget is often spent ineffectively; our spending could be curbed by investing in more thoughtful, cost-effective care.

“Although behavioral health spending accounts for $187.8 billion annually and represents the fourth most expensive health care sector, patient outcomes are poor. Emanuel writes that treating behavioral health conditions like depression and anxiety ‘is often a haphazard process,’ and ‘that only about one-third of all patients diagnosed with severe depression have seen a mental health professional in the last year, and only 20 percent of patients with moderate depression have seen a mental health professional in the last year.’ As we have described in previous Slow Medicine posts, too often U.S. clinicians rely on expensive and modestly effective pills for managing behavioral health conditions that would respond at least as well — and with fewer side effects — to simple lifestyle therapies coupled with counseling.”

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  1. When medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US, it’s madness to participate in this system if you’re not in danger of imminent death. Frankly, I’m thinking homeopathy and faith healing kill fewer people. As a scientifically literate person, it’s taken me a long time to reach this level of cynicism with our current system.

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