A wheel chair costs about $150, but in a week, a hospital's staff can spend up to $7,000 in clinical time just searching for one. Nearly 90% of all hospital patients will require an IV, but overstocking to compensate for lost or misplaced infusion pumps can cost the typical hospital $150,000 or more annually. A hospital bed runs about $1,200. What does it cost if each patient spends just one extra hour in a heavy resource use area like the emergency department or the ICU, waiting for that empty bed to be reported as available?
Healthcare is a business unlike any other. First, patients are not typical consumers – they do not always decide when and where they will seek care, the type of care they will get, how much to pay for it or how urgently they need it. Yet cost of care is a serious concern to them.