What are the top 5 unnecessary health care costs?

Generic medications save health care costs


From the Wall Street Journal Health blog: A report by the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals the top 5 sources of excess health care spending.

We already know that visits to the doctor and ER are expensive — about $206 per doctor visit and $788 per ER visit, according to the 2008 National Ambulatory Care study. And we have some evidence that a percentage of those visits are unnecessary.

But what are the top over-care culprits, and how much of a dent do they put into annual health care costs?

The study found $6.76 billion in non-recommended health care spending. (The study used data from 2009.) An outrageous $5.8 billion of that cost was attributed to a brand-name drug for lowering cholesterol — prescribed to patients without first checking whether a generic alternative would be as effective.

You can read about the other top sources of excess health-care spending here.

We believe strongly that promoting self-care, teaching wise health care consumerism creating a healthy culture at your workplace can effectively counter the escalating cost of health care.

What can you do to help employees ask for generics? Do you know what to say when your doctor orders a test you aren’t sure about?