Why do you believe that funding preventive health care services has taken so long to become a major component of health plans?
First of all, the United States must realize guaranteeing to control the cost of health care is complex and very risky. I say this because if the U.S. put in place a reform to control health care cost then somewhere there will be some type of short comings, if its no more than more people not having insurance or being under insured. This will give us the answer to finding out why it has taken so long for funding for preventative health care.
However, the outrageous cost of medical care in the United States is one of the greatest disadvantages of our system. Costs are rising at a faster pace than most other expenses. Total health care expenses in the United States were about $666 billion in 1990, accounting for 12% of the gross domestic product, the highest percentage in the world [Iglehart, 1992M. In 1990, health costs were rising at 12% per year. Many Americans believe this rate of growth is out of control and must be slowed [Igiehart, 1992aj. Even with this large expenditure, 36 million Americans 17 percent of the total population who have no health insurance. The only options available to these people for medical care are hospital emergency rooms, public clinics, or physicians offices where they pay out of pocket or are treated as charity patients. Uninsured Americans often do without preventive care for manageable conditions, such as treatment for chronic illnesses like high blood pressure or maternity care, but this is something that they are denied.'[Iglehart, 1992a].
What do you think will need to happen to change the prevailing mindset of funding health care services reactively versus pro actively from a third-party payers and a providers? Why?
I think if the consumers were more educated on preventative care, this will change their mindset, therefore leading to less spending on health services. Make the consumer responsible for their lifestyles and suggest behavioral changes. Life style changes such as , stop smoking, eat healthy and exercise more. If these things are put into our everyday lives, I believe we will have less trips to the doctor, which will decrease health care cost. When consumers take ownership of their health and the providers assist them in their chronic illness, then thats when our health care system will be headed in a positive direction to produce positive results.
Inglehart, J. K. 1992c. The American Health Care System: Managed Care. New England Journal of Medicine, 327: 724-7.
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