Factors that Influence the Cost of Healthcare in the US

The United States faces a substantial number of issues and obstacles when it comes to the current condition of the healthcare system. It is reflected in a rather large uninsured percentage of the population, which is currently 10%, and some of the lowest life expectancy figures in the developed world (Cutler, 2020). Most of these worrying statistics stem from core issues within the system, such as the high cost of medical care. In essence, it means that many citizens are unable to have guaranteed and adequate care and service because they cannot afford it. The factors that influence the significant pricing of medical care are varied, but there are five that alter the structure of healthcare considerably.

A study explored how five fundamental features altered the increase in US health care spending. The five factors were population size and age, disease prevalence or the number of incidences, the frequency of services being utilized, the price of the care, and the intensity of the procedures (Dielman, 2017). The population size and the increasing numbers of people per age group led to the first result, meaning that with an increasing population that needs medical aid, there would be an increase in the necessity for it. The major increase in pricing was seen in the rise of service prices and intensities, which are controlled by healthcare organizations and authorities.

Additionally, the increase in the utilization of service was associated with the development of ambulatory care and retail pharmaceuticals. However, there were also reductions in inpatient and primary care. It was estimated that about one-third of the healthcare budget would be used for administrative purposes, for tasks such as medical-record coding or claim-submission specialists, which are not found in healthcare systems in other countries. There is a multitude of reasons for the current cost of national health care and many factors such as population and age factors, the variety of services at different medical facilities, and the additional spending on administration.

References

Cutler, D. (2020). The world’s costliest health care. Harvard Magazine.

Dielman, J. L., Squires, E., & Bui, A., L. (2017). Factors associated with increases in US health care spending, 1996-2013. Journal of the American Medical Association, 318(17), 1668-1678. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.15927

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