The Real Reason We Spend Hefty Money on Health Care

Via LearnVest By Cheryl Lock ~

health care spendingHey guess what? Health care costs are on the rise.

Yawn, right? Health care has been in the news more and more as people struggle to keep up with inflated costs and rising premiums. What’s surprising, however, is the reason our health care costs are rising so much. According to a recent Commonwealth Fund report, it’s not the off-the-wall services or exaggerated emergency room visits that are causing the increases, but more the ordinary, day-to-day procedures that are keeping our prices high.

By way of example, take a typical colonoscopy procedure. Anyone who’s had this procedure before knows that, while less than comfortable, it still tends to be an in-and-out, run-of-the-mill check that can be over in less than hour, if you’re lucky.

If that’s the case, then why are they one of the most expensive screening tests healthy Americans can get, often costing more than childbirth or appendectomies in other developed countries? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10 million people receive colonoscopies every year, accruing more than $10 billion in annual costs.

“The high price paid for colonoscopies mostly results not from top-notch patient care … but from business plans seeking to maximize revenue; haggling between hospitals and insurers that have no relation to the actual costs of performing the procedure; and lobbying, marketing and turf battles among specialists that increase patient fees,” The New York Times reports.

 

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