U.S. healthcare is nearly twice as expensive per person as it is for other developed countries — and the treatment outcomes are worse. According to a recent Commonwealth Fund report on healthcare systems, the U.S. ranked last overall among the richest 11 nations on measure of health outcomes, quality and efficiency. The usual culprits for the cost are Big Pharma, insurance companies and excess litigation. In reality, the excess cost is driven by high-priced and unnecessary procedures.

In the first of a multipart Executive Insights series on consumerism in healthcare, we examine why a more engaged consumer — despite the increasing optimism — will not be nearly enough to bend the healthcare cost curve or even stop the rising rates substantially.

Later in the series, we will explore what this means for employers, managed care organizations and providers.

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