The stats of US debts reveals that most of the people face the pressure of debt due to medical bills that they are either not able to pay or struggle to manage their finance after paying. This is primarily due to the high cost of health care. Most of the people either look for traditional as well as alternative money lending sources such as Liberty Lendingto deal with their medical debts or file for bankruptcy.
When you look at the health care costs of US and look for the reasons you will find that there are many reasons for it to be so disproportionate.
- One significant reason for such high cost is the use of new diagnostic tests and treatments that are quite expensive. It is found that these tests and treatments when implemented do not necessarily translate into better health of the receivers.
- In addition to that, it is the administrative costs of health care in the US that is largely connected to private insurance also accounts for such high cost accounting to about 20 or even 30% of the entire health care costs.
The doctors’ fees do not affect much in this high cost factor because this can marginally reduce the health care costs if reduced. However, if you consider the aging population of the US you will see that they have not contributed to the high cost factor of health care as much as the baby boomers age.
New diagnostic tests and treatments
Now if you consider all these following factors closely you will have a clearer picture of the need of funding both by the individuals as well as the health care practices.
First, if you consider the use of expensive new diagnostic tests and treatments you will see that this is the most significant factor that adds to the cost of health care more than any other factors. Irrespective of the fact that these are appropriate or inappropriate, in both the cases it significantly alters the cost of health care pushing it northwards.
- As for an example, use of clot-dissolving thrombolytic or fibrinolytic drugs can be considered as an appropriate test though costly for treating a patient who suffered a heart attack just as angioplasty which is the process to clear the arteries. These treatments can really save lives.
- On the other hand, there are lots of costly treatments and test that are overused but ineffective to treat a bones or vertebrae fusion in the lower back to treat chronic pain in the low back.
Inappropriate tests will not benefit the patients. These tests however, vary greatly from one region to another or even from one doctor to doctor.
Health care goods and services
Another significant factor that has raised the cost of US health care is the increased costs of health care goods and services. The cost of drugs has increased significantly over the years and at a rapid pace due to the cost of developing new drugs which amounts to about $1 billion.
- It is due to this high cost of drug development that does not allow the drug companies to develop drugs that are not profitable such as vaccines, antibiotics and drugs used for treating rare disorders.
- That means people now have limited access to vaccines and drugs to prevent or treat severe medical conditions and infections thereby affecting the health of the public negatively.
Add to that the cost of marketing of new drugs, processes and devices have also added to the eventual cost of health care. On the other hand, such aggressive marketing techniques also influence the consumers to raise their health care costs. They want to be treated with an expensive treatment advertised on the TV and even convince their doctors for it.
As a result, such treatments increase the eventual cost of treatment and in most of the cases it is considered to be used inappropriately or overused. In most of the cases, these new treatments are no more effective than the older, traditional and less expensive ones.
Overuse of specialists
It is also a trend noticed among people to get treated by a specialist. This increasing demand by the patients is creating a shortage of them. The number of primary care physicians is decreasing as a result because they tend to become a specialist.
- This eventually increases the cost of the treatment which could have been much less and equally effective even if it was treated by a primary care physician. This is because specialty care is much costlier than primary care. Why? This is because specialist care will need more special tests that will cost you more than the tests that any primary doctor would suggest.
- On the other hand, if you suffer from multiple diseases or disorders you will need multiple specialists and therefore your health care cost will also shoot up.
Add to that, specialist doctors will be available at specialty hospitals that will have a better and larger infrastructure, high administrative and maintenance costs that will be added to your health care cost as well, proportionately. However, the Affordable Care Act limits the addition of such administrative costs with the health care cost of a patient to 20 to 30%.
The fees of specialist doctors are also much higher than the fees of a primary doctor which also adds to the final cost of the treatment, though by a very small margin as compared to other cost factors.
The malpractice costs
The malpractice costs include malpractice insurance and involve the different tests and procedures that may not be necessary but are typically done to raise the bill. This insurance protects the doctors from being sued for such practices. The insurance premiums for these insurances are typically paid by different peoples such as:
- The doctors
- Health care institutions
- Other health care providers and
- Drug or medical device manufacturers.
These insurance premiums cover claim settlements but ultimate are passed on to the consumers.
All these factors increase the US health care costs and most of the times compel people to look for sources to borrow money to pay their medical bills.