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Tips to Hold Down Health Costs

The issue of health care cost is a nagging challenge for governments all over the world which provide a serious threat to damage a country’s economy. In American context, some statistical findings to substantiate the truth are:

  • Since 1992, Medicare spending per enrollee has been growing by a national average of 3.5 percent a year.
  • $16,351 was spent on Medicare on average per enrollee in Miami in 2006 — more than twice as much as the $7,604 spent in Kansas City.
  • Existence of extreme regional differences : $8,331 per enrollee in San Francisco versus $10,810 in Los Angeles.

In a recent study conducted in America , it was learnt that the health care cost did play its role in the bankruptcy of the companies like the General Motors and Chrysler, as the huge cost of providing health care to their workers did make it hard for these companies to compete with other auto makers in terms of productivity and profits.

Economists are of the opinion that the nation’s health care costs could be reduced by 30% (about $700 billion a year), if the practices of low-cost regions and hospitals like Kancas city are widely adopted. The health care system of Kancas city is thus a model for the whole of United States. Their health care cost cutting techniques include:

  • Implementing new payment system that would encourage the doctors and hospitals work together.
  • Fixed salary for the private practitioners to ensure their financial security, so that they are not motivated to bring patients for extra visits and earn a few extra bucks at the cost of quality of the area’s health care.
  • Bonuses for doctors for keeping their patients healthy and reasonably be accountable for the patient’s health requirements.
  • Introducing reports cards for the doctors.
  • Doctors abiding by their basic professional trait of being ethical and order significantly less medical stuff like X-rays, Scans and referring to specialists , to their patients thus lowering their medical bill.
  • They should be prudent also about the technologies and facilities at their disposal. They should conduct more discussions to come out with ways which can improve health care quality, keeping the costs low.
  • Establish a stable, well-oiled referral system . This requires coordination among the physicians so that people can get quality health care within a few visits and not get utilized instead.
  • Large scale collaboration among the area’s largest employers, insurance agents and health organizations to look for practical ways to hold down health care costs.
  • Discouraging futile medical treatment for terminally diseased patients and for those in the final months for their life.
  • Encouraging institutions like Center for Practical Bio ethics which are doing pioneering work to educate the citizens about their health rights so that they receive appropriate care at the end of their life.

However, like any other wide scale national issue , health care cost cutting also faces some cultural challenges from the people apart from lack of political will and consensus from the politicians.

Corporation and coordination from every corner of the American society is highly imperative and expected from the American citizen in making the cost cutting drive in health care, a success.

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