Medical care costs in the United States are not only high but are also constantly rising. Many have been wondering why the health care costs in the country are so costly especially when compared to other similar countries around the world. In 2008, the U.S. spent approximately $7,000 per capita on medical care. This is an extremely high amount especially since the U.K., Japan, and other nations only spent half of this. Nevertheless, they received good outcomes, which can be measured by the life expectancy during birt
So why do the costs of medical care in the U.S. continue to rise? It can be attributed to the following:
High Spending on Physicians
The yearly U.S. spending on doctors per capita is very high, almost five times higher than in other peer nations. The reason for this high spending is due to the big spending on specialist doctors. Essentially, rates for primary care physicians in the U.S. are equivalent to the high rates in peer countries.
Although technology has done a lot for the advancement and efficiency of the medical field, it has also contributed to its high costs. The problem is, individuals are seeking advanced medical tests and procedures even when it is unnecessary. This is because the present system somehow rewards medical care providers that propose more services and procedures rather than those that concentrate on quality. However, if medical technology is used the right way like in an effective manner, it can do a lot to cut medical care costs.
Those who have studied the rise in medical costs say that limiting administrative expenses and improving the system to make it efficient will greatly reduce costs of health care. This is because most of the inefficiencies in the present system account for most of the high costs. Currently, the system is affected by lack of coordination. A coherent system needs to be put in place to reduce these administrative costs.
Aging and Disease
The growth in baby boomers and the increase in the elderly population are putting more pressure on the cost for treatment and therapy for certain ailments and disorders. Medical costs for treatment of chronic disease make up 75% of the health expenditures in the country. At the same time, obesity is a rising problem in the U.S. wherein one-third of the adult population is suffering from it. Many Americans have health issues that require expensive, special services. This is why it is important that many are made aware of how crucial it is to practice living healthy. Many of the conditions can be avoided with a lifestyle change. With healthier Americans, costs of medical care will certainly decline.
The high amounts of U.S. per capita income is also said to be a major player in the medical spending in the country. Higher income is connected to the higher spending in health care. There are a number of reasons why the cost of medical care in the U.S. is high and is rising further. If only these issues can be addressed and the medical care system can be made more efficient, then there is a chance that these costs will decrease. Hopefully that time will come soon enough.