What would America be capable of if it had an additional $1.3 trillion every year?
Imagine the improved infrastructure we could create and the lower rate of homelessness. We could make smarter investments into education and social services.
But where did we get this number from?
This number represents the amount of money we'd be able to save if the U.S government, businesses, and consumers spent 10.6% of the GDP on healthcare, rather than the current 17.1%. To ensure we keep giving quality care to the ones in need, we need to change the way we think about healthcare altogether.
A Hospital Should Not Be The Last Resort
Out of every healthcare dollar spent in America, 33 cents go to a hospital. 20 cents go to clinics and physicians, while 27 cents go to non-physician related professions like optometrists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and nurse practitioners. When you only take hospitals and physicians into account, it's safe to say that they control half of all healthcare-related spending.
But what most people don't know is that a hospital isn't the best place for several treatments. Because of a lower overhead, several healthcare services (day surgery centers, imaging centers, etc.) are a lot more affordable and offer identical services when compared to a hospital.
Of course, we can't ignore hospitals for good, but all we're saying is that they shouldn't be the be-all end-all for healthcare. All industries around us are re-thinking their business models (digital banking, e-commerce, etc.) and we think it's time the healthcare system caught up.
Moving Care Closer To Patients
Think of the last time you went to the doctor for an appointment. If you have a job, how much time did you have to take out for that appointment?
If you're lucky, you may only have to wait an hour, when it shouldn't be that way. Why should you have to leave work when you can talk to your doctor over the phone over a video call? Due to changing customer preferences and advancements in technology, online consultations are an attractive option for many.
As the number of walk-in clinics are growing, companies are also starting to setup worksite clinics for their employees.
Taking The Costs Out Of The System
Hospitals and other healthcare providers often increase the costs for private patients since Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements don't cover the care provided. To fix this, there has to be a middle ground where everyone pays a fair price. Hospitals should have a transparent pricing policy which will make the healthcare market increasingly competitive.
Since patients will be able to see what they're being charged for a routine scan, procedure or test, prices would go down drastically because of competition.
The cost of family insurance in America is rising each year and we need to reduce our spending on healthcare and looking for more affordable alternatives to fix this problem before it becomes beyond repair. While technological advancements can help us, it's also imperative you stay on the lookout for tips to reduce healthcare costs.