Americans spend more on healthcare than any other developed nation. Healthy citizens make for a more productive and happier country, and of course, investing in healthcare makes sense. The trouble is, despite spending $3.6 trillion on healthcare in 2018—a figure expected to climb in the next ten years—Americans are not any healthier. In fact, they are more likely to forgo the care they need due to rising medical costs. Read on to find out why medical costs are rising and what you can do to get quality care.
Rising Healthcare Costs
The United States spends over 8% of its healthcare budget on administrative costs compared to 1% in other developed nations. Why do we spend so much on what is essentially bookkeeping? The answer is a mishmash system. Each state has different healthcare rules, enrollment dates, various funding, private insurance, employer insurance, welfare healthcare services, fee-for-service practices—our system is complex, to say the least. Simply keeping up with the regulations is an expensive undertaking.
About the Aging Population
Thanks to medical advancements, people are living longer now than they ever have before. Currently, 16% of the population is sixty-five or older, expected to rise to 20% by 2030. Aging people typically spend more on healthcare, which means as the population grows, so will healthcare costs. Medicare alone is expected to increase from 60 million enrollees to 75 million by 2028.
What Is Defensive Medicine?
In recent years, there has been a disturbing trend of over-testing or over-treating patients, especially in hospitals. It’s called defensive medicine. The idea is to keep malpractice suits to a minimum by testing and treating possible but unlikely conditions. Some administrations will even go so far as to allow testing simply because that’s what the patient expects. Hospitals account for 33% of yearly healthcare costs, in a large part, because of expensive and unnecessary testing. Not only does this cause healthcare costs to rise (after all, the average price of an MRI in the United States is $1,325), but also shifts the provider’s focus away from the patient’s care.
What HealthLynked Can Do
HealthLynked’s mission is to facilitate quality healthcare for all. While cost should never be a factor when seeking care, HealthLynked offers tools to help you navigate the reality of the healthcare system and arms you with the information you need to make the best healthcare choices possible. Use Cost Lynk to estimate procure, treatment, and service costs, both nationally and in your state, so there are no surprises later.