We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Gee, Earl, let's guess where you work - maybe you're a part of the added cost of medical care due to more administrators, ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS, etc.
A third grader can decipher a simple graph like this. I'll bet dollars to donuts that the graphs for Washington bureaucrats vs US citizens or school administrators vs teachers look very similar.
What's more important - if you look at the original source material - is the corresponding rise in medical costs that accompany the explosion in paper pushers (and government mandated paper pushing). The original authors of the graph are leftist authors who were using it to push nationalized healthcare arguing that the explosive rise in administrators (versus physicians) is a sign that healthcare administration in the US is inefficient.
What they ignore is the goal of any healthcare system. The goal shouldn't be to fill in the right boxes on some government created forms. It should be to meet the demands of its customers (which used to be patients, but is now whomever it is that pays the bills).
The goal of most of these newly added non-patient care personnel (administrators, quality assurance documenters, electronic medical records creators, etc.) is NOT improving patient care or lowering patient costs. Like all bureaucrats, they recognize that solving the problems created by so-called government solutions will put them out of a job.
Anytime you get an increase in chiefs disproportionate to the rise in indians, what you really have is a bunch of ivory tower, non-productive types holding meetings that are more about protocols meant to satisfy some meaningless government mandates than about actually improving patient care/student education/etc.
What we are left with in our hyper-regulated society is industries and institutions spending more resources (time and money) on documenting (even if they don't really do what they document) that they are adhering to government dictates than actually improving quality and increasing affordability - hallmarks of economic improvement.
I do work in Healthcare, but consider the following:
I work in Canada, for private physicians. I do not work (by choice) for any government clinics (although that is a grey area since almost all healthcare is government funded up here).
If I can't make physicians more productive then I'm not doing my job.
The software I install is Open Source, so if anything, I am trying to drive the added costs down.
My point with the graph was the labeling of the Y axis.
Why 3000%? Why not 1 to 30x (times) or the actual number of people?
I'm not disagreeing with the fact that (Government) Administrators have destroyed most workplaces. The same problem exists in Education, Business and any other domain invaded by the state.
Data without context is useless and this graph is a demonstration of that.
Hi Earl - I can't speak for EMR in Canada, but here's my problem with EMR in the US: Because the use of EMRs has been mandated by the government rather than being "demanded" by the market (health care providers) based on what the suppliers were able to offer in terms of a product that could offer something that providers valued more than the dollars the product cost, EMR suppliers offered crappy products at higher than market prices. Healthcare providers had no choice (sure, they could choose crappy product A or crappy product B, but the EMR providers knew they had providers by the short hairs as they had to choose one or the other versus none of the above).
You've hit the nail on the head when you say that if you can't make physicians more productive you're not doing your job. That's simply another way of saying what I pointed out above - without some government mandate nobody will by an EMR unless the productivity it guarantees is at least equal to the price one pays for the EMR.
I still don't see your problem with the graph. An increase of 3000% is the same as 30X. Even if we allow for some slop with the words (was the increase 3000% of the original number or was it 3000% greater than the original number), at that magnitude, the point is the same.
What they failed to include was an overlay of medical costs (as opposed to prices) during the same time frame and perhaps notes regarding the institution of various federal regulations pertinent to heath care costs.
I'm afraid I have to second the complaint. Without some normalization of the quantities, I have no notion what the real numbers are. If there are a million docs and 100 administrators in 1970, and 2 million docs and 3000 admins in 2010, the percentage increases would be 100% and 3000%, just as in the picture.
It was intended to mislead - or at least to obfuscate - that's what graphs and statistics are often used to do, make the data appear to justify the authors foregone conclusions. The original authors of the graph are socialist researchers whose goal is single payer nationalized healthcare. I'm not making this up - http://www.pnhp.org/publications/NEJM5_2_91.htm
The original authors tried to use the graph to make the point that healthcare administration was inefficient and more costly than it could be if here was a national iced single payer system. Others have overlayed the annual spending on healthcare to point out that the rise in healthcare spending is associated with a rise in the number of administrators (as opposed to the rise in the number of doctors).