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  • Population aging and recent coverage expansions have fueled concerns about physician shortages in primary care, leading several influential groups to recommend that nurse practitioners take on a larger role.

  • Most children’s health system experience is limited to the pediatrician’s office, but those with chronic or complex medical needs often deal with care that is fragmented, duplicative and crisis-driven. This leads to stress on families and wasteful utilization.

  • Just 5 percent of the population accounts for 50 percent of national health spending. Behind these numbers are patients and families struggling with multiple chronic conditions, physical and mental impairments, and tremendous stress.

  • Washington, DC – October 10, 2014 – NIHCM Foundation has awarded $215,000 to eight organizations through the first cycle of its new journalism grant program announced earlier this year.

  • The Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC)—a small panel of medical professionals whose recommendations have considerable influence over Medicare payment levels for their own services—has drawn quite of bit of political and media scrutiny recently.

  • More than 8 percent of two- to five-year-olds are obese, and another 23 percent are overweight and at substantial risk of becoming obese by the eighth grade. These early years are a critical time to focus on the development of healthy habits.

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Expert Voices: Why America Spends More on Health Care

Eric Jensen, Consultant
Lenny Mendonca, Director of Firm Knowledge, McKinsey & Company
 

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November 2009

Pathbreaking work by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) shows that, relative to other peer countries from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. spends nearly $650 billion more on health care than would be expected after adjusting for cross-country differences in wealth. Fully two-thirds of this added spending occurs in the outpatient sector. The highly profitable nature of many outpatient services coupled with the incentives of a fee-for-service payment system are contributing to greater intensity of outpatient care and helping to fuel this spending. In this essay, Eric Jensen and Lenny Mendonca describe MGI's work to examine all sectors of the American health care system and identify factors responsible for the higher-than-expected spending.

Other recent Expert Voices essays include:

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