Is it a waste?

"As legislators debate about the future of the Affordable Care Act and citizens look to lawmakers to reduce health care costs, there is a perhaps surprising source of why these costs can be so high: "medical surplus," or usable supplies that hospitals throw out.

Medical supplies that are in perfect, usable condition are often put out in the trash by health care facilities, ProPublica reported. And it adds up to an estimated $765 billion a year, according to a 2012 report by the National Academy of Medicine.

Elizabeth McLellan, a registered nurse, took advantage of this waste 10 years ago and now ships unused equipment overseas to developing nations in collaboration with hundreds of volunteers collecting medical equipment for her nonprofit organization, Partners for World Health, which has four warehouses in Maine and is built mostly on monetary and supply donations."

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