5 Steps to Reducing Health Care Costs
Why Health Care is Expensive
Redundant and unnecessary treatments, fraud, and a multitude of errors cost this nation’s health care system billions. The U.S. wastes approximately $700 billion every year on these and other sinkholes within the health care system. Many speculate that number is about one-third of the total cost of the nation’s health care spending.
No Incentives to Save Money
Many of the health care reform bills being presented to Congress are not even addressing these flaws in the system. They continue the outdated system of fee for service systems that are now in place. This system has no financial incentive for health care workers, doctors, or hospitals to eliminate waste. They would not receive any financial benefit to saving money; in fact, it would reduce what they make now.
5 Steps to Healthy Savings
Let us look at a few things that could be implemented to save our health care infrastructure and still make it affordable to government, employers, and employees.
#1 Stay Healthy
First, encourage employees and individuals to be healthier. Have companies offer an array of health preventative programs. Some studies have indicated that up to 75 percent of most health care costs could be prevented by lifestyle changes. Stop smoking classes, weight management programs, maybe stress management classes could be offered. Employees who enroll would get a discount on their premiums.
#2 Better Communication
Next, everyone should have a primary doctor who is the central health care professional for you. Too many times, we are shuttled around to different doctors who don’t always communicate with one another. One central physician who is responsible for all the information coming from the specialists. No confusion and the correct diagnosis would be more readily available.
#3 Take Your Medication
Patients who are prescribed medication need to take that medication. Many times patients either forget to take their medications, or don’t believe they work or just plain cannot afford to buy it. When that happens, we end up with patients who are repeating unnecessary doctor visits. When patients are taking their medication the total cost of health care drops because the medication is much cheaper than the additional doctors visits.
#4 Eliminate Fraud and Abuse
Another way to reduce health care costs is to find ways to eliminate fraud and abuse in the system. Medical scams are getting to be a multi-million dollar business now. Fraudulent billing to insurance companies public and private now account for close to 10% of all health care costs. Many insurance companies are starting to crack down on fraud, but government intervention to assist them is needed.
#5 Stay Out of the Hospital
Did you know that the worst place to be sick is in the hospital? Almost 1 million patients die in U.S. hospitals due to infections they received while there. This results in a $30 billion bill to the nation’s health care system. Health care professionals need to be more aware of staying cleaner, with clothing, tools, and using basic common sense procedures.
It Begins With You
The U.S. is a nation that needs to get back in shape. Not only do employers need to challenge their employees, but also all individuals need to take the initiative to exercise and eat better. Start at the schools and educate our children early. Provide healthy meals and promote lots of exercise for our children. A healthier nation will see its health care cost drop substantially.
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