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Who's to blame for the high health care costs?

Posted Apr 06 2009 11:15pm

A recent article in the March issue of Consumer Reports   identifies some contributing factors to the high cost of health care.  The article High Health Care Costs discusses some of the factors including:

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1. Hospitals and doctors   - in our current health care system financial incentives are given for costly interventions rather than preventative care


2. Drug companies -  rise in prescription drug spending and large amounts of money being spent on pharmaceutical advertising (have you seen all the commercials?)


3. Insurance companies - increase in administrative and marketing costs contribute to inflated premiums


4. Politicians and government regulators - policies affect the bottom line


5. Lawyers- malpractice insurance premiums and defensive medicine (overuse of diagnostic tests)


6. Health care consumers - modifiable behaviors such as poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and smoking, all contribute to poor health


Here’s my recommendation.   Some of these factors consumers have no control over, but two of these factors consumers are definitely in the drivers seat.  First, healthy lifestyles result in healthy people. Make good choices.  Good health is priceless.  Second, consumers need to educate themselves.  Do your research to help you make informed choices about health care services.  Use tools like to look up prices, find the best value and make the most out of your health care dollars.  If you shop for health care services the way you shop for electronics, automobiles, and clothing, you will save yourself thousands of dollars.


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