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Cost Shifting Quantified

Posted Dec 20 2008 6:43pm

Many people are aware of the principle of Cost Shifting as it pertains to health care financing.  A study released last week has attached some figures to this practice. As consumers and employers are struggling to pay the steadily increasing health insurance premiums, they are the recipients of almost $90 BILLION in additional charges. Please take a look at the article “Consumer and Employers Paying almost $90 Billion Due To Under Payments to Hospitals and Physicians by Medicare and Medicaid”

We know health care in the US is in crisis.  In my opinion, we’re iqnoring the elephants in the living room.  First, we need to beef up prevention, wellness and personal responsibility. We can’t continue to be victims or pawns in the health care system.  Let’s use some common sense.  Why, for instance, would doctors insist upon PT and cortisone injections before surgery for torn ligaments, bone fragments, bone spurs, and bone on bone created by wear?  How can these interventions solve the problem?  Am I missing something?

As patients, we need to start asking questions about the cost of procedures and do a cost benefit analysis.

How about looking for less expensive and true cost saving treatments?  How about allowing some terminal patients to refuse treatment?

When we know that guided imagery (hypnotherapy) significantly reduces costs for surgery, invasive radiological procedures, is a effective as first line drugs for IBS, reduces side effects of chemo, double success rate of fertility treatments, the list goes on and on.  Why are we not routinely using this evidence based, cost effective modality.

If we sincerely prefer not to have more government involvement in health care, we need to start thinking outside the box and making some drastic changes.

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