We increasingly extend both the quality and quantity of life for what were fatal diseases; AIDS/HIV comes readily to mind. But treatment is also increasingly expensive, even with insurance coverage. In some instances, co-pays are equivalent to the annual median household income. A new paper looks at a readily available source of funding. (Spoiler alert: it doesn't involve new taxes.)
One of the great knocks on our healthcare system is that it emphasizes treatment over prevention. Frailty opens a window on alternate views of that distinction, and how we measure up.
Most academic and policy discussions center on the cost of care for populations. But what does it cost us individually and can that "inform the debate"? Let's consider the trees for a moment rather than the forest.
As they say, location is everything. Hospital-based outpatient care is far more expensive than the same care provided in a physician's office. It's $2.7 billion more expensive, but why?
The American Medical Association owns the intellectual property rights to the system for determining physician fees – a property that generates $72 million annually. Why?
United Healthcare, the largest provider of Medicare Advantage (MA plans) services, is being sued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for fraud. I think they may be right. They are gaming a system designed to protect Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers from excessive cost and they are very profitable. Did your revenue go up by 11.6% last year? Theirs did.