Published On: Sat, Dec 3rd, 2016

Issues that are blighting the US healthcare system

Whether the US healthcare system works or not is a question for another day. As we all know, this is a hotly-contested topic and it’s one that’s not going to go away anytime soon.

However, if we look at the topic in more granular detail, there are most certainly ways in which the healthcare system could improve. It does have its shortfalls, like every other healthcare system in the world, and if things are to improve then these issues need to be rectified.

Following on from the above, let’s now take a look at some of the problems which are blighting the system and causing it to come under fire.

photo LaDawna Howard via Flickr

photo LaDawna Howard via Flickr

It causes a huge strain on personal finance

One staggering statistic that we read was that if you were to take a look at all bankruptcies, two-thirds of them occur because the person can’t pay their medical bill. This is because they’re either uninsured, or not insured enough for the condition that’s incurred the cost.

This is one of the reasons why Adam Rosenfeld Miami spoke about philanthropic organizations in one of his recent blog posts; some people just don’t have any other option. There are millions of people in the country uninsured and this is where the problems begin – it’s not just practical.

Most people don’t have a primary care provider

The general consensus amongst a lot of the country is that people don’t have a managed health care plan.

If one analyzes health care in the company in detail, all starts to become clear. Surveys have shown that there is on average 0.5 GP’s per 1,000 people in the country – which is significantly less than the OECD average of 1.23. Ultimately, residents rarely get to see the same physician.

The upshot of this is that the professional who does treat them knows very little about their medical history and ultimately, it becomes harder for them to be treated. Sure, records are stored, but one could argue that having personal knowledge of a patient’s medical history is a great advantage – yet one that doesn’t exist in the US healthcare system.

A lot of medical procedures don’t carry any benefit

Another startling revelation is the amount of procedures carried out which actually carry no benefit to the patient.

One recent study showed that around 40-78% of all medical treatments are not benefiting the patient, and are often reversed.

Some have argued that there is a “trigger-happy” approach in the system, where treatments and tests are initiated despite doubts over their effectiveness.

Of course, to the whole system, this has a huge drain on resources. It means that more time is being wasted by the surgeons and other professionals in carrying out some of these treatments, while we needn’t begin to touch on the financial implications. With some treatments, in certain states at least, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars – the fact that some of these needn’t even be carried out is quite alarming.

Author: Anwar Hossain

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