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Excessive Hospital Waste Worsening America’s Health Care

America’s health care system has been in the news a lot lately. It’s a secret to no one that President Donald Trump’s administration is keen on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act implemented by former President Barack Obama. This has become a controversial issue for millions of Americans who have been able to obtain health insurance through the plan more popularly known as Obamacare.

Among the reasons that so many Americans are concerned about the our new administration’s approach to the ever-important health insurance issue is that Obamacare made it both affordable and accessible for people throughout our nation. The act addressed the concerns of many Americans that involve health care being too expensive. And yet, a recent report has shown that much of our nation’s health care funding is being completely wasted.

As reported by Marshall Allen of ProPublica, experts believe that the United States is squandering upwards of $765 billion of the money spent on health care each year! That’s approximately a quarter of the entire health care budget. This sounds crazy, doesn’t it? How can that much money be wasted? Allen notes that hospitals are throwing away perfectly usable medical supplies at an alarming rate.

Unopened packages of syringes, diabetes supplies, surgical instruments, IV fluids, bags of ostomy supplies, urinary catheters and feeding bags – this is just a short list of medical supplies that hospitals are known to throw away well before their expiration dates. The insanity of such a circumstance propelled Elizabeth McLellan to launch Partners for World Health in 2009. The 65 year-old registered nurse founded the non-profit organization to rescue medical equipment and supplies from wasteful hospitals throughout Maine.

With the help of volunteers, Partners for World Health ships containers full of unused, mint condition medical supplies to such countries as Greece, Syria and Uganda. According to McLellan, the unreasonable wastefulness of America’s hospitals is one of the major reasons why so many Americans are finding health insurance to be so expensive.

Her point is hard to argue. Allen reveals that “in 2012 the National Academy of Medicine estimated the U.S. health care system squandered $765 billion a year, more than the entire budget of the Defense Department…The annual waste, the report estimated, could have paid for the insurance coverage of 150 million American workers — both the employer and employee contributions.”

Allen’s article lists no specific reason why hospitals across our nation waste so many of their medical supplies. However, it does make clear that it is an unconscionable epidemic. “McLellan estimates the goods her group has right now are worth $20 million,” informs Allen, “Sure, that’s a rounding error in the overall waste tab, but it starts being real money if you add up the discards of all the nation’s medical facilities.”

He goes on to reveal that Partners for World Health sent seven containers with about 15,000 pounds of medical supplies, estimated at $250,000 in value, to overseas nations last year. The organization’s most recent shipment included a $25,000 ultrasound machine to Syria. Thankfully, McLellan’s group isn’t the only one of its kind. Georgia-based MedShare sent 156 containers of discarded medical supplies to developing countries last year. Each one was worth as much as $175,000, says Allen.

Needless to say, the team of clinical experts, here at Allegiant Experts, finds this to be a troubling situation in our country. We can’t imagine – not for a second – why such important medical supplies are being thrown in the trash in such abundance. We’re glad, however, that so many people across the world have been able to make use of them. Shouldn’t this have been the solution for discarded medical supplies to begin with?

We may not have all the answers. But our team remains dedicated to helping attorneys who are looking to put a stop to perpetrators of medical misconduct in our nation. For more information about our experience, expertise and how we may be able help your case, call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at

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