Wednesday, March 14, 2018

every thing costs more. duh

Scidaily reports why health care costs have gone up:

the major drivers of high healthcare costs in the U.S. appear to be higher prices for nearly everything -- from physician and hospital services to diagnostic tests to pharmaceuticals -- and administrative complexity.
administrative complexity, as in paper work.

and higher cost for drugs and equipment.

But commonly held beliefs for these differences appear at odds with the evidence, the study found. Key findings included:
Belief: The U.S. uses more healthcare services than peer countries, thus leading to higher costs. Evidence: The U.S. has lower rates of physician visits and days spent in the hospital than other nations.
Belief: The U.S. has too many specialists and not enough primary care physicians. Evidence: The primary care versus specialist mix in the U.S. is roughly the same as that of the average of other countries.
Belief: The U.S. provides too much inpatient hospital care. Evidence: Only 19% of total healthcare spending in the U.S. is spent on inpatient services -- among the lowest proportion of similar countries.
Belief: The U.S. spends too little on social services and this may contribute to higher healthcare costs among certain populations. Evidence: The U.S. does spend a bit less on social services than other countries but is not an outlier.
Belief: The quality of healthcare is much lower in the U.S. than in other countries. Evidence: Overall, quality of care in the U.S. isn't markedly different from that of other countries, and in fact excels in many areas. For example, the U.S. appears to have the best outcomes for those who have heart attacks or strokes, but is below average for avoidable hospitalizations for patients with diabetes and asthma.
so what costs so much?

Administrative costs of care -- activities related to planning, regulating, and managing health systems and services -- accounted for 8% of total healthcare costs, compared with a range of 1%-3% for other countries. 

Per capita spending for pharmaceuticals was $1,443 in the U.S., compared with a range of $466 to $939 in other nations. For several commonly used brand-name pharmaceuticals, the U.S. had substantially higher prices than other countries, often double the next highest price. 
The average salary for a general practice physician in the U.S. was $218,173, while in other countries the salary range was $86,607-$154,126.

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