View Poll Results: Why are Medical Costs, so high?

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  • Nature of Capitalism

    10 31.25%
  • Insurance Companies

    16 50.00%
  • Medicare, Medicaid

    6 18.75%
  • Specialization

    5 15.63%
  • All the Above

    10 31.25%
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Thread: Cause of Medical Costs?

  1. #51
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    Re: Cause of Medical Costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by mbig View Post
    We are the ONLY one of the 34 OECD countries without UHC and have by Far the highest costs. (and not near best outcome)

    A suggested call to a Service Model like police or teachers.
    Not a bad idea.
    The more I watch and learn, the more I am for UHC
    Universal healthcare does no good to reduce the costs if we still have the levels of lawsuits we have.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbig View Post
    About the steepest cost of medicine/medicare is unnecessary tests and defensive medicine, Not lawsuits.
    I agree it is a problem, except these procedures are done because of the lawsuits. To protect from them.

  2. #52
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    Re: Cause of Medical Costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by mbig View Post
    Health>Medicine is not like shopping a car.
    It's Not competitive.
    People don't shop when they're sick or deathly ill.
    Medicine doesn't lend itself to competition/capitalism as well as other business.
    I disagree. I have shopped around. I located a doctor when I had no insurance, explained my situation, and searched for a doctor that would take on the spot payment for services rendered. I found a doctor willing to give me great prices, because his staff only had to do appointments and not mess with insurance companies not trying to pay him.

  3. #53
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    Re: Cause of Medical Costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    The cause of medical costs are a combination of basic economics (supply and demand) and a healthy (pun intended) dose of government interference.
    Government interference always raises process. Look at how much secondary education costs now that it's so easy to get student loans. There is never a shortage of students. Supply and demand pricing... Gone.

  4. #54
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    Re: Cause of Medical Costs?

    Why does medical care cost so much?

    Medical training is expensive and time consuming. Your physician did 4 years of professional schooling after college and did residency for 3 (minimum, some specialties spend 5+ years in residency/fellowship training) spending 100k+ in loans for tuition and working 60+ hours a week for 3+ years making around 40k per year. Their salaries are high because their training is intense with the resource being limited. Pharmacists also did 4 years of professional schooling after college and some do 2 years worth of residency to specialize. Even your NPs and PAs did 2 years of professional schooling after college. Tuition and education are very expensive with nearly all practitioners going to graduate programs that are not eligible for the aid that undergraduates get.

    Malpractice insurance is high, for some specialties (like OBGYN and some surgeons) it can cost over 100k per year to insure yourself.

    People can sue and win cases over the darndest things. Some physicians will over-utilize diagnostic testing in order to cover themselves in the event of a lawsuit.

    People use the medical system without paying. When people go to the ER, get thousands of dollars spent on them and then don't pay that bill the system is the one that eats the costs and those costs must be covered somehow.

    Technology and innovation is expensive. Medical equipment and medications can cost a very large amount of money. Some pieces of equipment can cost over one million dollars to purchase and equipment is expensive to maintain. Even hospital beds cost over $10k to purchase. I also know of some drug therapies that cost in the thousands, some over $10,000 per treatment. Research is even more expensive, drug companies spend billions of dollars into research for one drug. That money needs to be recouped somehow.

    Insurance companies will audit and fight any way they can to get out of paying for things, these losses need to be accounted for. They also try to dictate payment for services and try to pay less and less while charging higher and higher premiums. They exist for profit, not for health. The government is no better, they also look to spend less but are also backed by more legal authority and regulation that can drive up costs. Medical benefit managers like government Medicare/Medicaid and private insurance are not looking to keep costs low for patients or fair reimbursement, they look to cover their own interests and retain as much money for themselves as possible and in some instances will result in driving up costs for patients and healthcare facilities.

    Patients are not compliant with therapy and we have an increasing usage of care for chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Public health is pretty bad, our nation has an obesity problem. We have smokers and we have other population groups like alcoholics that live lifestyles that will result in higher risk of expensive diseases and utilization of healthcare services. The healthcare system is burdened by this as well as public health, much of it is due to American lifestyle choices that do not benefit health. Patients who aren't compliant with therapies (like taking their medications) run the risk for hospital readmission or expensive exacerbation of their condition that could have been avoided or reduced had they adhered to their therapy.

    These are just some reasons why healthcare costs are high, there are others and there is also not a single issue that is resulting in driving up healthcare costs.
    Last edited by digsbe; 02-26-14 at 09:37 PM.
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  5. #55
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    Re: Cause of Medical Costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    The cause of medical costs are a combination of basic economics (supply and demand) and a healthy (pun intended) dose of government interference.
    I see that there are realistically many causes for increased costs, for which the government is one of the least. The quality of professional education, research, technology, equipment and supplies has to be high in a field dealing with the survival of our bodies. I'd say the recent increases in the past several decades mainly come from insurance companies and supplies providers.
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  6. #56
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    Re: Cause of Medical Costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Planar View Post
    Your poll doesn't include "other, please explain."

    I believe regulations and lawsuits are the largest reason our costs are so high. We have standards stricter than other countries, and are a very litigious people.

    I disagree. Without some sort of legal recourse against the arrogance of the medical profession, we'd be getting the wrong limbs amputated and horrible care. I personally had a back surgery, with no pain medication post op. I woke literally screaming my brains out, till they knocked me out and got the rx for the meds.
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  7. #57
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    Re: Cause of Medical Costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    I disagree. Without some sort of legal recourse against the arrogance of the medical profession, we'd be getting the wrong limbs amputated and horrible care. I personally had a back surgery, with no pain medication post op. I woke literally screaming my brains out, till they knocked me out and got the rx for the meds.
    I never said we need to eliminate litigation. Problem is, there are risks any time a procedure is done. It isn't always anyone's fault, but anytime something goes wrong, the chances are high to get a payoff.

  8. #58
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    Re: Cause of Medical Costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    What do you think, caused the Medical costs to become so astronomical?


    Was it the nature of capitalism to extract as much profit from the value of a product, as possible. And of course, what amount would we not pay to be healthy? Is capitalism of this sort, taking an unfair advantage of our desire to not be physically miserable or dying?

    Or is it the insurance companies that have gotten in between us and our providers, increasing the costs of service and medicines, by taking an absorbent share?

    Do we factor in the Medicare, Medicaid provisions and non payers, as a source of increased prices, because of their discounted and written off income sources?

    Is it the specialized facilities, medicines, equipment and cost of training the professionals of the field?

    Could it be all of the above?
    All of those factors play a part to some degree. In my opinion, the biggest contributors are:

    Doctors covering their asses with expensive malpractice insurance and unnecessary tests.
    Capitalist industries (healthcare industry and insurance industry) wanting to make a profit.
    Lack of affordable healthcare for everyone leading to the poor making a lot of emergency room visits since they can't afford to see a doctor before things get really serious.
    Health insurance insulating consumers from the costs of their healthcare.
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  9. #59
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    Re: Cause of Medical Costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    I see that there are realistically many causes for increased costs, for which the government is one of the least. The quality of professional education, research, technology, equipment and supplies has to be high in a field dealing with the survival of our bodies. I'd say the recent increases in the past several decades mainly come from insurance companies and supplies providers.
    Everything you mention in your post is part of the supply side of the supply/demand concept. That's why I listed that first. But please don't minimize the affect of government on medical costs. It adds an enormous amount to medical costs. In fact, government adds to the costs of the things you mention so not only does government have it's own effects, it affects supply and demand.
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    Re: Cause of Medical Costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Planar View Post
    I never said we need to eliminate litigation. Problem is, there are risks any time a procedure is done. It isn't always anyone's fault, but anytime something goes wrong, the chances are high to get a payoff.
    The surgeon, not leaving an order for post op, pain meds after cutting bone, out of my back, is inexcusable. He also never got sued by me, because he was, one of only, two neurosurgeons in the area. The local lawyers all agreed they would not take him into a malpractice suit, because if he lost his privilege to practice, that would leave only one surgeon for all the brain surgeries and neural related cancers.
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