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Why Health Care Costs So Much: Is The Public Partially To Blame?

It is my job at EverythingHealth to steer the reader to great information.  For this reason I am providing you with a Link to The New England Journal of Medicine article titled “The $650 Billion Dollar question – why does cost effective care diffuse so slowly?”  I have retitled it “Why Health Care Costs So Much”.

The United States spends much more on health care than other industrialized nations with no improvement in outcomes or health status of it’s citizens.  If we enacted some of the policies that other nations use, we would have $650 Billion to spend on education, infrastructure, social security and other societal needs.  Why can’t we get there?

Read here to understand the barriers.  It isn’t simple.  Resistance to change and instituting cost effective care has many stakeholders including legislators, doctors, hospitals, drug and equipment manufacturers, academic training centers, insurance companies and even the media.  We, the public, are also to blame for not understanding that reform which lowers costs would benefit all of us.  There is no free lunch.  When the cost of care goes up for employers, that keeps our wages stagnant.  When millions are uninsured, the cost of their care is born by everyone and it is inefficient care.

The article authors tell us: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Who Will Pay For Healthcare?

A couple of recent news stories reminded me of the dirty little secret about healthcare that no one wants to talk about, the proverbial elephant in the room. All those pills, surgeries, x-rays, medical care? It costs money!

Yes, Virginia, quality medical is not a right, not guaranteed in the Constitution, not something good-hearted corporations and companies, whether for-profit or not, are obliged to hand out like candy corn at Halloween. It costs money. Billions of dollars a day.

This appears to be something we all forgot in the warm fuzzy moments of watching military transport planes fly critically ill people out of Haiti to Florida hospitals. Who was going to pay for all this medical care? For the months of hospitalizations and rehabilitation these people were going to require? When the state of Florida, rightly so, asked the same question, prompting the halting of those military convoys, it ended up on the receiving end of a world-wide outpouring of boos and hisses. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Debra Gordon's Musings on Medicine and Health Care*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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