Why does health care cost so much. Check out this article
Like many of you, my health insurance premium again rose 8%, with the option again to lessen coverage or hop to an inferior plan that limits my choices and simply becomes my plan dujour until that too is unaffordable. Frankly, like you, I am sick of it.
While health care costs are rising faster than inflation (or so we are told), most healthcare providers continue to be strangled by insurance carriers further reducing their fees. The real problem with costs is that our health care system is a monopoly, overseen by the hospital systems and being maintained with a financial hierarchy while we are convinced we need all this stuff (constant doctor visits and monitoring, with drugs to keep us alive). The reality is that aging has become a disease, the American lifestyle and the way many of us have become super sized has not helped matters, and the drug companies continue to create products that cure nothing, but chemically change a process of the body that may not function correctly, forcing us to use their non cure forever. Most of us get off the drug when the side effects create another health problem. This, along with our symptom based paradigm are major cost drivers.
Another often unspoken cost driver is the reimbursement level from medicaid, which is why the Supreme Court tempered what I consider an over reach of Obama care. Medicaid reimbursement is way too low and even for hospital care, is less than what the care costs. Large institutions like hospitals will shift this cost over to their private pay and insurance patients. This is one of the major reasons hospital based services are often ridiculously priced. Unfortunately, when a hospital loses too much of their traditional insurance base, they close. This is what happened in Plainfield to Muehlenberg.
Other known cost drivers is the lack of musculoskeletal training of medical specialists, who have a disease mentality and test everyone as if they are looking for a disease. Many symptom complexes often have a musculoskeletal basis and can be resolved without expensive try out drugs (try this and see if it works, hardly scientific) and expensive tests.
Doctors need to become more holistic and look at people and systems, rather than symptoms only. Many knee problems are created by the foot and hip and pelvis. Looking at the knee and ordering an MRI to greenlight surgery is much more expensive than properly evaluating how this works and recommending a few chiropractic rehab visits which can resolve most knee issues quickly and effectively.
Stop treating old age as a disease. As one doctor wrote, ” we can test anyone in their 60’s and are bound to find something”. Does this mean we have to treat it even though it may not be life threatening. The end is the same for everyone except we now have the technology to prolong the agony.
Take insurance companies out of the profit game where your health is concerned. ACO’s are clearly only ways of capping the cost of care and creating global budgets for care of certain conditions. The plans also will force doctors to be less wasteful and coordinate care better. We need to pay primary care doctors better so they can spend the time they need with their patients instead of having to see a huge schedule, take the work home and still barely be able to pay their bills. They simply just refer patients out to more expensive procedures, providers and tests. Yes, this is the insurance model we currently have. It is not working.
Check this out
The cellphone in your pocket is NASA-smart. Yet it costs just a couple hundred dollars.
So why is it that rising technical capabilities are leading to drastically falling prices happening everywhere, except in your medical bill?
The answer may surprise you…
Continual microchip technology breakthroughs mean you can now do more on a phone bought for $200 than you ever could have thought of doing on a $2,000 computer just a decade ago.
In fact, it has more computer power than all of NASA had back in 1969 – the year it sent two astronauts to the moon.
Video games, which consume enormous amounts of computer power to simulate 3D situations, use more computer power than mainframe computers of the previous decade.
The $300 Sony Playstation in the kids’ room has the power of a military supercomputer of 1997, which cost millions of dollars.
So just think what computers can do to help doctors cure you when you’re sick.
Indeed, computers do keep us healthier and living longer.
Illnesses are diagnosed faster. Computer scans catch killer diseases earlier, giving the patient a better survival rate than ever in history.
New treatments are being created at an astonishing rate. All kinds of conditions that would have killed you a decade ago now are controlled and even cured, thanks to new technology.
But with all these advances in technology, shouldn’t medical care – just like the mobile phone and video games – be getting cheaper?
Yet here we are, still paying through the nose for every powder, pill, and potion. And it seems like nothing ever gets cheaper when it comes to medical treatment.
It Must be Price Fixing We’re Just Making Doctors and Big Pharma Rich, Right?
Or are we?
It seems that the increase in cost is not because doctors are making a lot more money than before, as you’ll see in a moment. (It might surprise you).
“The bottom line is that you are paying for extending your life and curing diseases that until recently would likely have killed you.”
A longer life has a bigger price ticket.
But there’s more to it than that.
Are We Really Living That Much Longer?
Doctors cure your ills and repair the damage you do to yourself by accidents, old age, abuse, and general wear and tear.
It is easy to dismiss the days of people’s lives spanning a mere three decades as prehistoric… but it wasn’t really that long ago.
Consider that according to data compiled by the World Health Organization, the average global lifespan as recently as the year 1900 was just 30 years.
If you were lucky enough to be born in the richest few countries on Earth at the time, the number still rarely crossed 50.
However, it was just about that time that public health came into its own, with major efforts from both the private and public sectors.
In 1913, the Rockefeller Foundation was looking for diseases that might be controlled or perhaps even eradicated in the space of a few years or a couple of decades.