A New York Times article looks at the question of Why the U.S. Spends So Much More Than Other Nations on Health Care and found that studies point to a simple reason: the prices, not to the amount of care.

A large part of the answer, according to the article, “can be found in the title of a 2003 paper in Health Affairs by the Princeton University health economist Uwe Reinhardt: ‘It’s the prices, stupid.‘ The study, also written by Gerard Anderson, Peter Hussey and Varduhi Petrosyan, found that people in the United States typically use about the same amount of health care as people in other wealthy countries do, but pay a lot more for it.”

The article goes on to point out that though a recent study in JAMA “could not separate care intensity and price, other research blames prices more. For example, one study found that the spending growth for treating patients between 2003 and 2007 is almost entirely because of a growth in prices, with little contribution from growth in the quantity of treatment services provided. Another study found that U.S. hospital prices are 60 percent higher than those in Europe. Other studies also point to prices as a major factor in American health care spending growth.”

It’s no surprise that this article caught our attention here at AMDR, since AMDR members, through their work in single-use medical device reprocessing, play a crucial in role in helping hospitals achieve the triple aim of increasing quality, reducing costs and improving patient care. Reprocessing programs help hospitals by lowering the cost of device per use, which enables hospitals to better manage their assets and access new technologies and resources.

Learn more about AMDR members and how they’re helping their healthcare partners with environmental and financially sustainable programs at www.amdr.org.  To access the New York Times article, click here.