Medicare drug costs, deductibles (read that as the infamous doughnut holes) are increasing at multiples of the inflation rate and the insurance for Medicare part D are increasing at multiples of the inflation rate.
In the political campaign we talk of strategies to provide universal health care but have heard few if any suggestions to control costs. We continue to pay whatever the providers charge (providers=practitioners, institutions, insurers, equipment manufacturers and pharmaceutical manufacturers). Where cost containment implemented it is almost always at the patient/practitioner/institution level.
That’s not bad but it has proven ineffective. We continue to have hospitals with wide variability of costs between one location and another; physicians overusing technology–doing tests and providing treatments that do not change decisions or outcomes; and pharmaceuticals that alone cost more than the average and mean incomes/year of individuals.
This is a system from hell and unless we are willing to attack costs beyond cutting provider reimbursement we will continue to pay twice what the rest of the world pay for care and continue to have mediocre results.
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