Following from my last post, I’m currently researching the state of healthcare expense in the United States. It turns out there are probably many important causes of high health-care costs, and the issue is fairly complex. Shocking. Here are eight ideas that I’ve heard thrown around that we will be investigating.
Over the next few months we will be going through some of the evidence for each of these ideas, and exploring others if it turns out that our initial ideas aren’t cutting it. If you have any ideas to add, feel free to chime in!
- Specialist physicians are overpaid and/or overused
- Pharmaceutical companies overcharge (and are probably evil)
- Insurance companies overcharge
- Pharmaceutical companies’ fairly new ability to advertise directly to consumers is putting a great deal of pressure on doctors
- The Affordable Care Act has caused a huge increase in healthcare prices
- Fear of malpractice lawsuits make doctors do far too many tests to cover their butts
- Pressure on doctors to use new, expensive drugs and procedures from patients and pharmaceutical companies
- Hospitals and doctors compete by adding luxuries and amenities, NOT by lowering prices
Remember, these are IDEAS or hypotheses, not positions I have evidence for yet. I’m fairly confident that some of these will prove to be important, but I doubt all of them will. So, if you have a strong opinion for or against some of these feel free to comment, and stay tuned, but don’t get mad (yet)! These are simply possibilities that we will be investigating, and that I could find at least one book, scientific article, or tinfoil-hat nutjob talking about.