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The United States healthcare system is a broken system that makes it impossible for the average American to get access to affordable care. It has become a costly expense with health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and the government putting the money back in their pockets. Here are why some reasons why healthcare is so expensive in America.
Insurance companies are a big part of the reason why it’s hard for American citizens to get good healthcare. Most Americans aren’t on insurance simply because it’s too expensive. It already has an unclear future under the guise of the Trump administration. Insurance rates are so high that American citizens outside of employers can’t get health coverage unless they’re young, active, and don’t smoke.
Insurance rates aren’t the only reason. It’s a small part of a larger problem, not the problem itself. Making health insurance more affordable isn’t simply done by asking insurance companies to lower their rates. The solution to this problem is to improve communications between carriers and plans. Most insurance companies use fax to approve treatments and claims take several weeks to process.
Embracing technology would help lower insurance rates. With rates on the rise each year, companies need to keep up with the times so Americans can afford to lead healthy lives.
Sometimes, however, the only practical solution is going abroad. One tool that’s taking the medical industry by storm is 123.clinic, an online comparison tool that that helps people compare surgery prices abroad. They’ll even get explicit details on available packages based on their needs.
Increased regulation of the healthcare industry is another concern. This is not to say that regulation is a bad thing, but the criteria for becoming a doctor is stricter than ever. It’s one of the reasons why most doctors spend three to 7 years in residency training before they receive their medical license.
The nurses could pick up the slack for most of the work that the general practitioner does, but they can’t due to the government regulations. After doctors go to school to get their medical license, they demand high rates. Those high rates drive up healthcare costs, making it impossible for the average American citizen to get exceedingly good healthcare. Loosening some of these regulations would make it possible for people to afford healthcare again.
Insurance companies love to use fax technology to process paperwork. Healthcare providers fill out 20,000 forms each year. Three out of 10 of medical tests are reordered due to lost files. Excess paperwork is harder to track and easy to misplace. It often gets lost or misfiled.
Doctors still use paperwork to communicate with insurance companies because it was the only acceptable way to exchange information. That’s slowly changing thanks to electronic medical records, telemedicine, and new technologies that manage patient referrals and speed up the insurance process.
Big Pharmaceutical Companies
It’s no secret that some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies have made billions of dollars. It’s become one of the richest industries in all of America. It’s also become controversial since most of these drugs are addictive and can lead to other health problems. This has led to litigation and increased healthcare costs that pharmaceutical companies pass along to Americans.
One example of a pharmaceutical company not making the right decision is the manufacturers behind the controversial drug Risperdal. The FDA told Johnson & Johnson to put an end to the misleading claims of its prescription medication. The company carried on with its false advertising while making billions of dollars.
It was later found in 2006 that two-thirds of Risperdal prescriptions had little to no scientific support to back up its marketing claims. Dementia patients who have been prescribed this drug found that it increased their chances of death by 54% within the first 12 weeks of taking it.
Healthcare vs. Military Debate
This has become a controversial subject among friends and family alike. There are many Americans who have served in the military and work in the healthcare industry. Americans who serve should be compensated for their services. The Iraq war cost Americans $1 trillion and could cost an additional $1 trillion in healthcare for veterans over the next four decades.
That money could also be used to provide better healthcare. It wouldn’t be such a problem that will get bigger as the American population ages in the next forty years.
Right to Die
Most older Americans have used their entire life savings keeping their elderly parents on life support when no other medical options were available. People on both sides of the Right to Die topic have strong feelings about it. Some don’t like to see their elderly parents hooked up to feeding tubes and in a vegetative state.
The Right to Die legislation has ended up in the hands of the taxpayers. It has also become a common question on the Living Will and the Health Care Proxy Form.
Another reason for the healthcare costs is ignorance. People rush straight to the emergency room for something that can be treated at home. Most of their problems can be resolved with over-the-counter medicine or home health remedies. This can be prevented if there were better education and understanding of the healthcare system.
Now, these treatments are costing Americans hundreds of dollars in ambulance and provider fees. Parents are so concerned with their children’s well-being that they’re willing to go to these extremes without footing the medical bill. This drives up healthcare costs. They don’t realize they should have health insurance or money to receive treatment.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.