Data research identifies large-scale divide in medical costs in the U.S.

artsenA typical example of ‘the right tool in the wrong hands’. That is the conclusion of a small committee of medics who carried out a study into the costs of medical interventions in the United States. According to the scientists, some doctors now even have to perform medical interventions 50 hours a day.

The data visualization below (click here for more interaction and information) shows how a large portion of medics in the state of Florida is engaged in medical interventions for more than 24 hours a day. This might seem strange, but if you consult the U.S. legislation you will find that this is entirely according to protocol.

This is because of the way in which these rules are defined: a team of medics, advised by another team of medics, determine the average time a medical intervention takes. In actual practice, this could mean that 75 minutes are billed for an intervention that only takes 15 minutes.

Although the team of independent researchers reports that this situation is for a large part the result of navel gazing by medics, it also indicates that a regular revision of the legislation wouldn’t do any harm. The last update took place many a moon ago, and since then the knowhow, skills and technology haven’t remained static.

It is as yet unclear how U.S. officials intend to tackle this divide.