Coping With Rising Health Care Costs - Can We survive?
Health care costs in the united states are rising at an alarming rate, to the point that the increases in fees could be unsustainable and are putting many people at risk. To protect our future, we need to put more focus on keeping the biggest drivers of high fees in check - things like increasing medical service prices, new and more expensive drugs, medical technology - and even modern lifestyles. We also need to become more mindful of the fee-for-service set up, which right now favors volume over value.
Ever-increasing health care costs mean ever-increasing insurance costs, and this is putting a serious dampener on the economy. Other countries, which provide free at the point of access health care, have workers with more peace of mind, more confidence, and better long-term health. Because they can feel free to seek health care when they need it, and know that they will not be penalized for it, they are in a much stronger economic position. And they are more likely to be seen for seemingly minor ailments in a timely fashion - before the illnesses become severe and require costly care.
The growth in insurance premiums is not something that the insurers should be blamed for. Premiums are tracking the underlying health care costs - and they will have to increase as spending increases. The government is encouraging insurers to expand their cover to allow access to affordable insurance for a wider part of the population. But this will come at a price - it could be that over the next few years the rate reforms will benefit those who are older, less healthy and in higher risk groups - at the expense of those who are younger and healthy, and who do not engage in high-risk behaviors.
Good and proactive health plans that reward value and prevention are an important part of reducing health care fees. Health plans should focus on empowering patients, and should reward the providers that get the best results - as well as those that offer good case management and efficient programs for people who have chronic conditions.
Strategies that can help to reduce health care costs include promoting a healthy lifestyle, putting the emphasis on patient safety, and making medical costs and options something that are discussed more proactively and with more transparency. A Colorado company, Healthcare Innovations International, LLC has created a quality computer software that help cut medical cost while maintaining the quality of patient care by using unconventional population healthcare management strategies.
Things like prescribing generics instead of brand name drugs can help, but will not always be enough to make a difference, especially when it comes to long-term conditions. Hospital stays will always be expensive, and people who are involved in serious accidents or who have life-threatening conditions may face huge bills. The expansion of the Affordable Care Act has had a big impact on the number of people who can access health care, but it is not enough, and that's why we need to push for even more reforms, and for more thought to be put into what is going on in the medical industry.