There's little doubt that the U.S. wastes a lot of money on unnecessary health care. But pinning down the worst offenders isn't easy, as a fresh analysis of the scientific literature finds.
Published research on overuse is in pretty short supply, so rooting out waste by looking at the existing studies can be a little like limiting your late-night search for lost car keys to the spots right under streetlights.
Hospitals stepped up their advertising in 2011, and some newcomers to the national marketing game are academic medical centers. While the coast-to-coast commercials help attract faculty and students, they're also aimed at getting more paying patients to travel for treatment.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry likes to hold out the Lone Star State as a model — his vision for the country. But while Texas' growing economy has been a reliable jobs producer, the state's health care system is straining.
Only 48 percent of Texans have private health insurance, and more than a quarter of the state's population has no insurance at all, more than any other state. To fill this gap, the state's hospital emergency rooms and dozens of women's health clinics have stepped in to serve the uninsured across Texas.