We’re talking about the predicament that many Americans find themselves in today, money versus medicine. Dr. Makary, why is medical care so doggone expensive here in the US? Astronomically more so than any other country in the world? Well number one, it’s pricing failures. And number two, it’s the inappropriate care. You know, one in five medical services are deemed unnecessary by doctors in the National Survey of Physicians. And they broke it down for us in the study that’s now published. They said 25% of the diagnostic tests that are done 22% of the medications and 11% of the surgical procedures. I mean, 10 years ago we physicians prescribed 2.4 billion prescriptions. Last year, it hit five billion. The disease really doubled in the last five years. Now we have a crisis of appropriateness. Isn’t the opioid crisis just one manifestation of our broader crisis of appropriateness? But if you put together pricing failures and our appropriateness crisis, that’s the reason. It’s not the fault of the American people. They’re paying a lot of money into our system. We gotta clean up our own house. When we go in front of the judges to defend patients pro-bono that’ve been sued to have their wages garnished, we’ll tell the judge hey, I can’t show up and mow your lawn and then send you a bill for $4,000. There’s no contract. There has to be some civility. I mean, plastic surgery is one of the few areas of medicine along with IVF and lasik surgery that has had price transparency for decades. And what do you see? A global reduction in prices. There’s competition. It’s worked in ours especially. I’m not sure if it would work globally. I mean, we’re talking about we have the most expensive healthcare probably in the world. Is it necessarily the best healthcare system? You know, the very best of American healthcare I believe is the best in the world. And I think all of you– I would agree.
Yes. Would agree. When this healthcare system works, When it works
It works really well. (laughs) There are phenomenal things that can be done in this country that I don’t believe can be done at the same level in other places. But, when you look at this country in total compared to most other developed countries, I think it’s pretty clear we do worse. I don’t know how you feel, Dr. Mackary, with it. I agree ’cause more women die from pregnancy-related complications in the United States than any other developed country. So just because we’re spending more, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the outcomes are always better. With that being said, I totally agree with what you said. We’ve made some amazing advancements in medicine. Oh, it’s remarkable and wonderful. And we’re able to save and help a lot of people. But, expensive healthcare doesn’t always equate to the best outcome.