The U.S. health care system could save about $40 billion annually by implementing electronic processing and taking other steps to streamline administrative processes, according to a report by the Center for American Progress, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 6/13).
According to the report, health care administrative costs amount to about $361 billion annually, or about 14% of all health care spending. It estimates that at least half of those costs are wasteful (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 6/11).
The report found that various factors contribute to the wasteful spending, including:
- Incompatible IT systems;
- Complicated record-keeping; and
- Varied processes (Sanger-Katz, National Journal, 6/11).
The report recommended that health care organizations:
- Integrate clinical and administrative functions with electronic health record systems; and
- Offer financial incentives to health care providers who send administrative data electronically (Modern Healthcare, 6/13).
The report also recommended the creation of a new federal office to oversee efforts to conduct administrative reforms (National Journal, 6/11).