Growing Healthcare Costs in the US

1043 words (4 pages) Essay in Health

23/09/19 Health Reference this

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Healthcare is constantly changing along with the trends of diseases. A key issue is the cost of trends and how it effects not only the patients but businesses and the government. It is imperative to understand how they all affect each other and the more a disease spreads the costlier it is to treat. Three trends of diseases that have been affecting the nation are diabetes, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and hypertension. Through health records and data professionals can track these issues and show the affects they have on the population.

Diabetes has increased throughout the years and is very costly. “the total costs of diagnosed diabetes have risen to $327 billion in 2017 from $245 billion in 2012, when the cost was last examined. This figure represents a 26 percent increase over a five-year period.” (American Diabetes Association April 2018) The increase can cause many issues and affect many lives whether it be financially or health concerns. Diabetes is one of the leading diseases in the nation that are affecting more people and can lead to many issues regarding one’s health. Diabetes can lead to amputation and loss of one’s limb to even death. A diabetic must constantly check their glucose levels and the equipment to do so can be costly. Using insulin is a way to help combat diabetes however this can be costly as well.

Mental health is an issue that is still not fully understood however there has been great strides into the treatment and understanding of certain diseases. One of the big trends in mental health is PTSD and it has increased over the years. There can be many factors to this, one factor may be because of the war, more knowledge and understanding, to even traumatic life events that are now recognized. “It is estimated that the annual treatment costs for PTSD alone, depression alone, and comorbid PTSD and depression among service members amounts to approximately $0.6, $1.5, and $1.0 billion, respectively, or a total of $3.1 billion annually for these conditions alone.” (Vyas Kartavya Oct. 2016) This number does not include non-service members and it is already a large sum.

It is an increasing condition throughout society and without treatment can be harmful to one’s health. “The annual cost to society of anxiety disorders is estimated to be significantly over $42.3 billion, often due to misdiagnosis and under treatment. This includes psychiatric and non-psychiatric medical treatment costs, indirect workplace costs, mortality costs, and prescription drug costs.”  (PTSD United 2013) Due to an increase in diagnosis the costs of care have gone up along with treatments.

A condition that has grown over the years is the diagnosis of hypertension. Hypertension is high blood pressure and can be dangerous. It can be genetic or hereditary, or even a poor diet can lead to high blood pressure. There are many factors, like stress, obesity, and smoking that all contribute to hypertension as well. “Individuals with hypertension are estimated to face nearly $2000 higher annual healthcare expenditure compared with their no hypertensive peers. This trend has been relatively stable over 12 years. Healthcare costs associated with hypertension account for about $131 billion.” (Kirkland E. May 2018) This condition is costly to the patient and if not treated can lead to heart failure or even a heart attack. Understanding what it is and how it can be treated or prevented will benefit the patient not only financially but health wise as well.

Looking at these trends one can conclude that an increase in a disease or condition will increase the cost and money spent to combat or treat the problem. This bill not only affects the patient but businesses and the government as well. Many people get their insurance through their work place and the unhealthier the employees are the more the insurance will cost. With people relying on the government for insurance they will spend more money on the treatment of these conditions as well. Promoting healthy habits is an incentive to not only better someone’s health but also their finances.

The efficiency of the care given is crucial in driving the cost down. When the care is good, and a patient can be healed or bettered they will no longer need the treatment resulting in a decrease in the costs being spent. The best way to keep costs affordable and decrease these trends is preventative care and education. When a population is well educated on the diseases/conditions they will know what causes them and how to prevent them. If more people, follow a healthy life style less people will be diagnosed with these health problems and the costs will go down.

New treatments are constantly being practiced and the competitiveness push for better treatment at an affordable cost. When a better treatment is practiced at an affordable cost more patient’s will be drawn towards that driving revenue of the facility up while providing quality affordable care. A key factor to competitiveness is quality care and when there is an increase in a disease, a facility will have specialists to best provide for these issues to best help patients being seen.

Trends in healthcare are important to follow because it not only helps better treat diseases but helps control costs. Businesses tend to be the main provider for health insurance and for a business to be profitable they must keep the costs of their business down. By encouraging healthy employees, the cost for health insurance will go down. Government spends billions in healthcare and to reduce that number spent providing good quality care and education is essential to saving money.

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