More People Are Turning To Acupuncture as Medical Costs Rise
The biggest problem with our current healthcare system is the costs and the promises that the system does not deliver on. Unfortunately, for the general public, there is little they can do other than choose a competing healthcare regimen for their problems and increasingly, the public is choosing complimentary treatments such as acupuncture, massage and chiropractic care.
Last year, when I hurt my lower back, a medical friend of mine who I had helped with a problem he was having returned the favor and helped me reduce the intensity of my pain with acupuncture. There are many problems Acupuncture is quite helpful for and quite honestly, the methods are relatively inexpensive and often succeeds in improving ones wellbeing when standard higher cost medical care fails to find a satisfactory cost effective system. Most interesting is that since people are paying out of their own pocket for this safe and proven type of care, they do so because it has proven its worth. I cannot say the same of many medical regimens and tests, since they typically have ridiculous fees attached to them, that would probably not be tolerated by the public if we had to pay for it ourselves like we do for Acupuncture or Massage.
Acupuncture is often not covered by traditional health care carriers, although more are offering it. Many people also visit chiropractors whether or not their insurance covered the care however, most people believe and prefer their health care plans cover these treatments that are proven to be lower in cost, are safer than traditional medical care and are quite effective.
The rise in medical costs began with Medicare, which was needed to help senior citizens have healthcare coverage and be able to live longer and healthier lives. Unfortunately, from the beginning, many health care providers began to raise their fees and they were magically paid by the system. Eventually, Medicare came up with a system to evaluate health care providers and their costs of delivering care called RBRVS or the relative value system. This helped somewhat, since primary care type providers were reimbursed more, while specialists were paid less.
In todays healthcare environment, healthcare has become money care, providers offer so called concierge care (big in Florida), where you pay a premium to go to a low volume doctor and have access. The problem, is that not everyone can or will afford the $1500 yearly dls, on top of the providers payments from their insurance and it can create a system of haves and have nots in our healthcare system. It motivates people to do this via fear, fear of getting sick, fear of not having expensive medical care which is the largest reason for people going bankrupt in our country.
Maybe people want choice and there are affordable alternatives that people are choosing because of the higher co payments and other cost shifting that is occurring in our current system. Of course, this is just a thought.
Check out the article, it is worth the read.
Tell me what you think? As always, I value your opinion.
William D Charschan DC,CCSP,