Why Does Healthcare Cost So Much in the United States?

Why Does Healthcare Cost So Much in the United States?Think about this: the US spends more than twice as much on healthcare as other high-income countries. Between preventative care costs, seeing specialists, and scheduling required surgeries, personal healthcare costs can run in the tens of thousands of dollars each year. On average, this adds up to more than $9,000 a year per person.

Insurance can help mitigate some of the costs, but even still buying or renewing coverage gets expensive fast. For anyone wondering why does healthcare cost so much, here’s a brief breakdown of the reasons this is the case:

 

Healthcare asset tracking is a great way to keep track of waste produced, and where to dispose of it.

 

High Administrative Costs

Continually processing patients requires a lot of administrative staff. These employees need to update databases with relevant patient information, such as appointment times, treatment plans and involved medical staff.

Medical records are a vital part of the healthcare world. Without an accurate patient history, doctors would ignore health patterns that can tell of more severe problems that go further than surface level. Clinics need to pay for secure data entry and record keeping that keeps the process HIPAA compliant.

Medical Waste

Treating patients creates medical waste. To stay safe and sanitary, many of the implements doctors use need to be disposable. This ends up creating a tremendous amount of biohazardous waste.

US hospitals produce more than 5.9 million tons of medical waste each year. Regulated medical waste disposal costs 10-15 times more to dispose of than regular trash. Those numbers add up quickly.

Medical Waste Management

With such a large amount of medical waste to get rid of, medical waste management is crucial in every facility. Safety measures require medical clinics and hospitals to manage their medical waste. Healthcare asset tracking is a great way to keep track of waste produced, and where to dispose of it.

Salaries for Medical Professionals

Most medical professionals go to school for years to learn the skills they need to treat their patients. Depending on their field of study, doctors can go to school for 14 years before establishing a practice.

And with how much specialization the profession requires, most of that schooling is necessary for doctors to do their jobs. You wouldn’t want to see a doctor who took shortcuts to get to where he was, would you?

This extensive training requirement means that medical professional salaries run high. On average, doctors earn $189,000 a year. And that’s for doctors who don’t have unique specializations.

Expensive Pharmaceuticals

Many drug manufacturing companies have a monopoly on the market today. These manufacturers are allowed to set their prices because there isn’t any competition to prevent them from doing so.

These monopolies also prevent some drugs from developing a generic version. This forces patients to buy the name-brand product, and spend hundreds of dollars a month on medication they depend on to function.

Many physicians are aware of rising drug costs. However, they aren’t the ones with the ability to change policy. Congress is in charge of the laws that allow pharmaceutical monopolies to dictate medication prices.

Is there any way to save money in healthcare and reduce the astronomical costs associated with it? Cutting administrative costs, reducing inefficient practices, and relying on nurse practitioners is a great way to reduce overhead costs without compromising on patient care. Using asset tracking software, such as Asset Panda, to identify inefficient tracking processes will also help reduce costs in your medical practice.

 

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