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Why does cost containment remain an elusive goal in US health service delivery?

Melanoma and Skin Cancer Discussion

Why does cost containment remain an elusive goal in US health service delivery?

Postby esmond » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:43 pm

Partly because there are few if any mechanisms in place to actually generate it. But there are several factors.

People who are insured have no incentive to shop around for cheaper care.

Even people who aren't insured often don't have the *means* to shop around, as pricing for most procedures tends to be opaque, so people can't tell who is cheaper and who is more expensive. And, of course, people have limited capacity to shop around when they are dealing with a major medical problem, especially since once you're in a hospital it's difficult to go somewhere else for whatever treatments you need.

Providers are paid by the procedure, rather than for outcomes or number of patients, so they have an economic incentive to order more procedures than they actually need.

Litigation-fearing doctors may order completely unnecessary tests "just in case", because if they don't they may be sued in the tiny, remote chance that they're wrong.

Uninsured people are less likely to catch a potentially expensive medical problem (eg. skin cancer, diabetes) while it's still manageable, and thus end up needing expensive emergency treatment.

And, of course, the usual smattering of greed, fraud, and incompetence that can drive up the price of anything in a poorly-managed system.
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Why does cost containment remain an elusive goal in US health service delivery?

Postby stevie » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:46 pm

The US relies on a largely free market system for health care but the market doesn't work well to restrain costs for heealth care. Consumers have little control of when and how they enter the market and what the price will be when they do. The nature of health care makes it difficult for people to shop around for lower prices for procedures. And the fact that most health care is paid for through insurance helps insulate the consumer from price fluctuations.
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Why does cost containment remain an elusive goal in US health service delivery?

Postby mukonry68 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:48 pm

Simply - Washington DC is the most exclusively rich area in the USA, thanks to 'donations'.

ALL politicians are on the 'take'! = The USA has the best politicians money can buy.

GOP probe uncovers deal between Obama and drug cos
http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/1296256
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