Antiquated systems and out-of-control health care costs in the United States are not sustainable, according to the chief executive officer of Aetna, one of the nations largest health insurers. In the opening keynote at HIMSS14, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini painted a grim picture of health care in the U.S. that is plagued by inefficiency and waste.
Citing a study by the Institute of Medicine, Bertolini said that about 30% of U.S. health care spending is wasted -- more than $800 billion annually -- on unnecessary services, hidden administrative costs and other waste. Were the nation to solve this costly problem, the U.S. could pay back half of its debt over the next 10 years, he argued.
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