Can US health care learn something from Canada?

Ian Morrison’s opinion piece makes it clear that no country has the perfect health system – not even Canada, but the U.S could learn a bit from its neighbor to the north when it comes to administrative efficiency. As he writes,

“Estimates are that 25 percent of American health care is administrative waste: Armies of clerks are upcoding, downcoding, adjudicating, faxing, scribbling and kvetching over payment. In Los Angeles County alone there are 1,900 people who do nothing but fill out forms for Medicaid eligibility with a productivity target of two such forms a day. In Canada, all doctors in each province are paid based on a standard simple fee schedule. There are no discounts, no pay for performance, not much utilization review and very little faxing.”

With GM announcing that their second quarter losses of $1.1 billion are due primarilty to increasing health care costs, you’d think there would be more private sector demand to eliminate such waste.


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