Despite of political influence, there are a number of facts about the healthcare industry of USA that are not unveiled to the general public. There is a need of realization that there is a desperate need of change. You might have heard few stories unveiling the truth of the healthcare system in USA. In this article I’ll unveil the facts that may start you to wonder.
- The Health Care System Cost Americans around 2.8 Trillion Dollars in 2013
Under the current reforms regarding health care system in US, it costed US 2.8 trillion dollars last year. The cost is still not settled and is expected to increase every year. The ever-increasing costs of health care system and the rising profits of health are corporations have all lead to bankruptcy and personal debt.
US spend more than twice as much per person on healthcare than any other developed country, but still, the quality of treatment is well below its level. The control of US healthcare system continues to spiral downward. With reference to a report by Health Care for America Now, five biggest United States health insurance companies ended up with a combined profit of $12.2 billion in the end of 2009 year. It is a frightening scenario to even imagine the cost being spent in the healthcare industry in the coming years.
- 50 million people with no health insurance
Although, US spends highest recorded budget on healthcare than any other country in the world, there are still approximately 50 million people with no health insurance at all. Many people on salaries are not able to bare the health insurance cost. According to a middle-class American Citizen, Julie Shay, the insurance firms do not realize or care about what patients are going through.
They care more about their profits rather than providing cheap treatments to the patients. There are numerous patients who do not get care and are falling through the cracks. Too much money is spent by doctors on carrying out tests which are not needed. Lot money is wasted on inefficient claims processing as well.
- Due to preventable medical errors, up to 400,000 people are killed every year
Rather than being treated by US health care, many people are experiencing disasters. People who come to seek help and treatment in health care centres, ends up giving their lives due to the mishaps that could have been easily prevented. In 1999, the number of deaths due to preventable medical errors was 98,000 and today, the number of deaths has been increased to 400,000. It is a number beyond our imagination.
According to a CNN report of this April, at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, at least 40 US veterans were died waiting for appointments. Most of them were placed on a secret waiting list. After heart diseases and cancer, most people in US die because of preventable medical errors, making it the third-leading cause of death in US. According to healthcare industry leaders, these errors are difficult to be prevented as hospitals are a complex place. There is a need of accurately reporting of preventable errors in the healthcare industry.
Patients seek treatment which is potentially harmful to them. Too many people are suffering harm whereas the rising costs in healthcare industry are not proportional to the quality of treatment being served.
- $750 billion were wasted by US healthcare system
Around $750 billion were wasted in 2009 on expensive and useless treatments. That means 30 cents of every healthcare dollar was wasted. The money included the excessive administration cost, inefficiently delivered services and medical fraud as well. Lack of fully adopted medical records resulted in high corruption.
Besides that, higher cost options for treatment were chosen over the cheaper ones. Payments were made for services with no or little evidence that they will contribute to better health outcomes. Claims were made to third party insurance companies and no such services were delivered. The amount of money wasted by healthcare system was more than the Department of Defense spent in that year.
According to the report of Institute of Medicine, the amount of money that was wasted could have been spent to provide health insurance to 150 million workers. Above that, 75,000 deaths could have been prevented from that money. If the increasing healthcare costs would not be able to be controlled, the cost will trigger up to $4.5 trillion by 2019. There are thousands of American residents who cannot afford the treatments in the healthcare institutes, and to waste that much amount was tragic and devastating for these people. The US healthcare system needs better government reforms.
- In 2012 nearly 55 million people were underinsured
In 2012, out of 85 million people, 55 million were underinsured. These were the adults of between 19 years old to 64 years old. They did not have health insurance for the full year. These were the people who had health insurance but still struggled to pay their bills to health insurance companies. They had to face limits on various services and some services they had to pay were way too expensive to be afforded by a common man.
Mostly the people with lower income level were affected. They were underinsured and have to experience a time without health insurance. 72% of Americans who had to face underinsurance were the people with incomes under the 250% of poverty.
According to Commonwealth Fund, underinsured people spend 10% more of their income on medical expenses. Due to these reasons, more and more people underinsured people refrained themselves from going to hospitals and did not undergo preventive checkups or lab tests. Even when they did, they were not able bare all their medical expenses which eventually cost lives of hundreds of people. Although, there is a lot of disagreement on funding and structure of new healthcare reforms but there is an immediate need of healthcare reforms to happen.