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Rising Healthcare Costs
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The public desires for the provision of quality healthcare services. Unfortunately, the healthcare sector continues to become more expensive than before thus leaving many people unable to afford quality care. The challenge of the rising healthcare costs can be attributed to several factors. Healthcare facilities have to ensure that they have the best facilities and equipment to deliver quality services. Hospitals thus have to purchase the latest machines and equipment for diagnostic and treatment purposes (Sorenson, & Bhuiyan Khan, 2013). The hospitals thus incur the cost of purchasing the equipment to deliver quality services. Healthcare costs also refer to the amount of money that patients have to cough up to access specific services.
There are numerous factors that drive up the health care costs in the country. First, the healthcare sector operates in such a way that healthcare professionals are rewarded for doing more work rather than being sufficient in their service delivery. Specifically, insurers including Medicare pay healthcare professionals under the fee-for-service system which means that a patient pays for every test, procedure, and consultation that he or she requires. The current system encourages over treatment and exposure to numerous tests that may be unnecessary. The second factor that is contributing to high health care costs is the emergence of a significantly large and sickly age group. Improvements in the healthcare industry and the general lifestyle of individuals have increased the life expectancy of citizens. However, with age there arises the increased demand of healthcare services for chronic and old-age related illnesses. Chronic conditions such as heart disease, and diabetes are expensive to treat a majority of the public yet is diagnosed with these conditions. Old age also comes with an increased need for end-of- life care which is expensive. The third factor that triggers an increase in health care costs is the demand for the latest treatments and technologies in the healthcare sector.
Medical advances have seen patient recover from ailments that were traditionally assumed to be fatal. Unfortunately, the demand for medical advances drives up spending. Patients and healthcare professionals demand the latest technologies that drive up health care costs in hospitals Mack, 2016). The cost is transferred to the customers (patients) who have to pay more for treatments and procedures. The fourth factor that has resulted to an increased in health care costs is the increasing share market that hospitals are achieving. Hospitals and other healthcare providers are gaining market share thus placed in a position to demand high prices. Strategies such as mergers and partnerships are known to improve efficiency and reduce prices of commodities. However, the healthcare sector can realize a negative effect that can lead to the rise of near monopolies.
The rise of monopolies can result in a reverse outcome where hospitals can impose prices on customers. Lastly, the healthcare sector is sometimes faced with supply and demand problems as well as legal issues that complicate efforts to minimize the cost of spending. Malpractice premiums and jury awards influence spending. Healthcare professionals also engage in defensive medicine where they prescribe unnecessary tests and medication to avert any medical lawsuits (Luga, & McGuire, 2014). The healthcare sector also faces a short of health care professionals who are critical in provided quality patient care. The shortage of primary health care professionals coupled by the increasing number of patients that have acquired insurance has increased the demand for healthcare professionals. The demand for healthcare professionals has driven up spending thus increasing the costs of accessing healthcare services.
Luga, A. O., & McGuire, M. J. (2014). Adherence and health care costs. Risk management and healthcare policy, 7, 35.
Mack, M. (2016). What drives rising healthcare costs? Government finance review. 27-
Sorenson, C., & Bhuiyan Khan, B. (2013). Medical technology as a key driver of rising health expenditure: disentangling the relationship. ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research: CEOR, 5, 223–234.
Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in write legitimate research paper. If you need a similar paper you can place your order for a custom research paper from cheap writing services for nursing students services.
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