Analyzing the cost/benefit of managing conditions in today’s healthcare system
Managing the health conditions that affect us is a huge part of the problem of costs. Which interventions make sense, are beneficial and when comparing costs, which are most likely to cure or significantly improve your problem in the safest and fastest way.
Some diseases such as cancer cost a lot to treat, yet traditional methods such as chemo, radiation and surgery is both life threatening and has a poor record of curing the disease, regardless of what the advertisements from major cancer centers say. Chemo has not changed in 50 years. On the other hand, newer methods are now in development that have the potential to help your body help itself by stimulating your immune system to attack the cancer so it may never come back. This is much more preferable than years of monitoring, stress and a high level of reoccurrence of the disease.
By the same token, curing Hepatitis C with the current cures is much more favorable cost wise even though it is expensive to the older management methods that were costly and never cured the disease.
Chiropractic methods are often shown to be more cost effective than the traditional management by primary care physicians, orthopedics and physical therapists When you manage the cost/benefit and satisfaction, chiropractic often comes out ahead, even though it is often underutilized by the healthcare system.
Many screens for diseases over the past few years are now being questioned as to whether they have any benefit including screening seniors using the PSA test, especially over the age of 85 (even though many physicians still ignore the current data). Even the yearly mammogram has been questioned for its ability to screen, and possibly cause over diagnosis, unnecessary medical intervention and harm to those who have been misdiagnosed with breast cancer.
The American healthcare system is very slow to change and adapt, Even though technologies that will quickly lower healthcare costs are here and are readily available, doctors are slow to embrace them. Little by little, many doctors are finding that they have less and less control over their patients, and even their destiny in their professions. Is your doctor cost effective or are they clinging to old, expensive and outdated healthcare ideas?
I found this interesting article with an engaging point of view on cost / benefit evaluation with our healthcare system. Check it out here
When It Comes to Healthcare, No One Runs the Cost Against the Benefits
Dr. Deane Waldman, MD MBA
In 1984, Wendy’s began a marketing campaign that was so successful, its slogan – “Where’s the beef?” – became an American icon. It means, “show me the proof that I am getting what I paid for.”
When we buy a hamburger, we demand, “where’s the beef?” Yet when we consider purchasing the most important and expensive item of all, healthcare, no one demands the same kind of proof.
Most people measure value by comparing cost to benefit.
For that car you are considering, your cost is the sum of initial, long-term, and avoided costs. Benefits are things you want such as speed of transportation, miles per gallon, resale value, safety features, comfort, and bragging rights. You calculate cost/benefit and then decide whether you will buy a Ford, a Honda, a Mercedes, or take the bus.
You and I don’t do cost/benefit analysis in healthcare because we can’t. Washington doesn’t look at cost/benefit in healthcare because they would rather not expose the truth.