What Is The Cause Of Rising Healthcare Costs In The United States?

What Is The Cause Of Rising Healthcare Costs In The United States?

Health care expenses in the United States continue to increase, way above the rate of inflation. But what is causing this unsustainable increase, who is to blame and what can be done about it?

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1. The Practitioner

Medical practitioners and their exorbitant consultation rates have long been pegged as the culprit for the high cost of healthcare. However, recent studies have shown that a smaller percentage of the blame should be attributed to them. While they do contribute to the problem, it is mainly in specialized fields of medicine that the practitioner affects the overall rise in cost.

What can be done about it? In a capitalist society, it ‘s hard to regulate what doctors charge for their services. However, medical insurance providers have more power than they are willing to use. By limiting the amounts they are prepared to pay for consultations, procedures and treatments, many practitioners may be forced to lower their rates to receive payment.

A high percentage of patients are misdiagnosed or receive the wrong kind of treatment from medical practitioners. There is no recourse to be refunded for this type of misdiagnosis, and it takes a toll on medical expenditure. Although individuals can sue for malpractice in this event, it is often insurance companies that cover these costs, and the expense related to the misdiagnosis is still attributed to the overall cost of healthcare.

Besides, the referral process to specialist doctors is being abused. A patient who can quickly receive treatment from a general practitioner is often referred to a specialist. In the hospital, more than one professional may be consulted regarding a particular case causing the costs for treatment to the compound.

2. Hospitals

The greatest expenditure on healthcare in the United States can be attributed to in-hospital care and procedures. Not only do they charge exorbitant bed rates but have additional theater fees, medical equipment charges, expenses for consumables, pharmacy charges, procedures, etc.

3. Medical Equipment Manufacturers

Manufacturers of medical equipment used in hospitals and clinics to diagnose and treat patients are often overpriced. Without this equipment, medical facilities cannot operate optimally. This puts them in the position where they have to pay the price set by the manufacturer and need to recover their costs from patients.

To recover their costs quickly, these facilities often charge higher rates. Once they have recovered their costs, they do not lower the fees and continue charging the maximum, loading the cost of health care further.

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4. Medication And Drugs

The cost of medicine (especially prescription drugs) is simply overly expensive in the United States. It is not just the drug manufacturers that are to blame but prescribing doctors, pharmacists and dispensaries. Each of these not only adds their margin to the cost of the medication but also charge a dispensing fee.

Generic medication is also not promoted by drug company representatives or the pharmaceutical companies themselves. These drugs perform the same function as original medications at a fraction of the cost. Generic drugs are a copy of an original drug that is similar but not the same. The fact that generics don’t have to go through the same lengthy and costly testing processes means that they are often much cheaper.

5. The Patient

Unfortunately, the rise in healthcare costs must also be attributed to the general public who are living unhealthy lifestyles which result in an increased need for medical treatments. Obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and bad eating habits are large to blame for this increase. Promoting healthier lifestyle habits is essential in decreasing this impact on the cost of healthcare.

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