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The Value Of Health Care In The United States

1523 words - 7 pages

Medical care in the United States has become increasingly complex and has created an overwhelming crisis in the health care system. The cost of medical treatment has become unaffordable to the majority of the population, and many Americans cannot afford their insurance premiums. Total health care spending increased from 6 billion dollars each year in 1980, to 2.7 trillion dollars in 2011 (Moses et al. 2013). That is equivalent to eight thousand dollars a year, per man, woman and child in the United States. Many American’s ask where their money is being used and how much value it is adding to them as a patient. According to a recent JAMA study, about 20% of total health care expenditures ...view middle of the document...

As also stated, “we spend 2 and a half times more than other major developed countries on medical services, however when compared statistically, we do not have better health outcomes (Weisberg 2013). This information is startling and proves that we are not getting the added value for the extra billions of health care dollars that we spend. In fact, another interviewed professional in the video stated that wasted and overused treatment and testing actually do more harm to the patients overall health (Weisberg 2013). A traditional American belief is that doing more is better, but when it comes to medical treatment, we are not only doing damage to our bodies from extensive testing and procedures that are not necessary, but also wasting a vast amount of money, as well. A comparison study done at UCLA Medical Center and Intermountain Medical Center proves this theory. At UCLA, patients spend 60% more time in the hospital and 75% more office visits for added testing and procedures, compared to Inter Mountain Medical Center (Weisberg 2013). They explained that the statistical health outcomes at UCLA were not higher than at Intermountain. This proves that many hospitals and providers continue to push for more testing and more treatment, even if it does not provide any benefit to the patients’ health. I believe many doctors request multiple tests for their patients after hearing their symptoms, to help eliminate multiple possibilities. Additionally, it would prospectively lower the likelihood of a malpractice lawsuit due to a missed diagnosis, and so that they have to spend less time with the patient directly. If physicians spent more time in face-to-face contact with patients gathering information, and developing a relationship, it would eliminate the need to provide unnecessary testing, and it would be an exceptionally valuable resource. This would give the doctor a better understanding of which tests are necessary for their patient’s treatment.
A secondary issue that affects the value of treatment a patient receives are the priorities that the physician has over their patients’ health outcome. Another professional in the video stated “I’m paid more when I harm my patients and I am paid more when I do more, even when it is not beneficial” (Weisberg 2013). Unfortunately for the patient, medical professionals are paid based on the services they provide. An equal comparison to this would be someone who is paid a commission. The commissioned salesperson has an incentive to sell you more than you will need. This pay structure has given many greedy physicians’ reasoning for ordering testing and procedures that should have been eliminated by an in-depth consultation. In the current health care system, there is profit to be made from others misfortune. The philosophy is, the sicker your patients are, the larger your paycheck will be. This may cause physicians’ to order an array of testing, potentially finding something that there were no original symptoms...

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