The costs are great in terms of lives lost and money spent.
Marty's book apparently is causing a bit of a discussion, given the number of reader comments at the end of his recent essay in the WSJ (9/21/12), How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us.
Here are a couple of quotes from the article:
"If you won't sit down for a meal before checking Zagat's or Yelp, why shouldn't you be able to do the same thing when your life is at stake?"
.....If medical errors were a disease, they would be the sixth leading cause of death in America—just behind accidents and ahead of Alzheimer's. The human toll aside, medical errors cost the U.S. health-care system tens of billions a year. Some 20% to 30% of all medications, tests and procedures are unnecessary, according to research done by medical specialists, surveying their own fields. What other industry misses the mark this often?" - Marty Makary, WSJ