As the increased costs that they are paying, will more than likely mean that they cannot afford to receive routine physicals and checkups. When you begin to reduce the number of visits, the odds increase that various conditions and ailments may be discovered once it is too late. This is when the condition has become so bad, that it will require an individual have to visit a specialist. Once this take place, it means that the cost of treatment to increase. Evidence of this can be found with a Milliman Study, which found that cost shifting represents 15% of the total costs at a health care facility. As various business and government programs are often seeking out ways to reduce their overall financial burden. ("2010 Medical Cost Trends")
At the same time, the rising health care burden on the individual could mean that they might not be able to afford the added expenses of health care services and the possible premium increases from their insurance company. These two issues are problematic, because if the individual cannot afford health care services or the insurance, they will not seek out any kind of health care treatment until their condition has become too serious to ignore. When you combine this with the negative effects of the recession, this will have a profound impact on how many people will have access to various health care services. Where, those who do not have any kind of insurance will be forced to fend for themselves. An example as to how extreme the problem has become, can be seen by looking at information that was released by the U.S. Census Bureau, which found that 46.3 million Americans are without health insurance. ("Census Bureau") As the rising costs and the tough economy, have meant that many people cannot afford health care services or their insurance. Once this takes place, it will cause these people to face more severe health problems down the road, as there is no way to know if they are suffering from a variety of conditions. This is significant, because it shows how various cost cutting efforts and the recession has caused many people to no longer afford health care or health insurance premiums. As these actions is only causing the problem to become worse, by not identifying various ailments early.
What is Driving up the Costs?
The biggest factor that is driving up the cost of health care are: the overall amount of in efficiencies that exist within the industry. This is because the system is filled with a variety of ways that will help costs to remain high, as the overall amount of inefficiencies will exacerbate the problem. A good example of this can be seen with a report that was conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers, which found that $.10 cents out of every premium dollar paid to the insurance company will help to cover a variety of their operating expenses. To include: IT investments, claims processing, fraud detection, enrollment / billing, pay for performance programs and provider verification. ("2010 Medical Cost Trends") This is important, because it highlights how the increasing trends in health care costs are mainly associated, with inefficient procedures that helped create an atmosphere of red tape. This has allowed fraud and costing shifting to become more common. As it is perpetrated by inefficiencies, while the cost shifting is in response to the increasing financial burden many programs and insurance companies are seeing.
Clearly, there are a number of different factors that are contributing to rising health care costs the most notable would include: rising physician costs, disparities in treatment, government regulations, obesity, fraud and cost shifting. All of these different elements help to contribute to the increase in costs, by helping to create various inefficiencies in the health care sector. Then, when you combine this with the different effects of the recession, this means that the overall costs will continue to increase. At the same time, it will have negative impacts on the underlying levels of health for the individual. Where, they are forced to not seek any kind of health care services, for various ailments. Over the course of time, this will make the situation worse as the underlying levels of health in individual will begin to deteriorate. Once this take place, it means that the underlying costs to treat them will be more expensive. This is important, because it highlights how health care costs are increasing dramatically, as the recession and the inefficiencies are causing more people to fend for themselves. As a result, this highlights how the health care industry, has been facing a number of different challenges from the rising costs. Where, inefficiency and the recession are negatively affecting the general public. The two elements are important, because they will continue to have a damaging impact upon the sector until they have been addressed. Until this takes place, the overall trend of rising health care costs will more than likely continue for the foreseeable future.
2010 Medical Cost Trends. Blue Cross. 2010.
"Census Bureau." NY Daily News. 2009. Web. 30 Aug. 2010.
Medication Errors Injure 1.5 Million People. National Academies. 2006. Web. 30 Aug 2010.
Obesity Health Care Cost U.S. $147 Billion Per Year. Medical News. 2009. Web. 30 Aug. 2010.
US 2010 Health Care Cost Jump 10%. Reuters. 2010. Web. 30 Aug. 201.
US Health Care Cost. Kaiser Foundation. 2008. Web. 30 Aug. 2010.
Amadeo, Kimberly. "How Can Health Care Reform Reduce Health Care Fraud." About.com. 2010. Web. 30 Aug. 2010.
Conover, Christopher. "Health Care Regulation." Policy Analysis. 2004. Web. 30 Aug. 2010.