Greetings, all. This is my first post!
Firstly, I think it's an utter travesty that we live in a society in which all people do not have inexpensive access to healthcare. I hope this changes sooner than later. I don't have the answers! I wish I did.
I can share some background as to why healthcare costs in this country seem to be increase unfettered. I worked for several health plans in various positions for a number of years. Here's a fundamental reason the cost of healthcare increases continuously:
- The healthcare industry (ie physicians, hospitals, clinics, etc) performs and bills for their services. They bill either health insurance companies, Medicare/Medicaid or individuals.
- The healthcare industry negotiates rates with health insurance companies and the government. These rates are generally based on what is considered "reasonable and customary" aka "R&C" for a given service in a given area. You could say, the average.
- The problem lies in the fact that the healthcare industry continuously raises their charges and very often purposely bills outrageously high, ridiculously high for services. Example: charging $800 for a routine checkup office visit when they're only paid a negotiated rate of $150 by the insurance company or the government. Why would they bill $800 if they're only paid $150? As an aside, individuals without health insurance are forced to pay whatever they're billed.
- Remember, negotiated rates are set based on averages. If the healthcare industry purposely bills outrageously high rates, that....skews the averages upward driving up negotiated rates.
Again I don't have the answers, but hopefully this sheds some light on one of the reasons costs are so crushing.