Ezekiel Emanual (U Penn) wrote an Editorial in this weeks JAMA titled "Where are the Health Care Cost Savings?" where he suggests that there are not enough aggregate savings in targeting malpractice costs, insurance profits, drug costs, and the "million dollar babies" to make a significant impact in US medical expenditures.
Where does he think the savings are:
"One estimate suggested that as much as 22% of all health care expenditures is related to potentially avoidable complications...reducing avoidable complications by 10% could save more than $40 billion per year."
The reference for the 22% estimate is a 2009 article by François de Brantes et al in the NEJM. What was the preventable complication example in the 2009 article? A readmission for a harvest site SSI post-CABG.