Raising Healthcare Spending Projected for Upcoming Years

Raising Healthcare Spending Projected for Upcoming Years

 

Health care spending is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent over the next decade. This will result in 20 percent of our gross domestic product – or $1 out of every $5 – going to medical services by 2025, displacing funding for other societal priorities such as education, the environment and national defense.

Raising Healthcare Spending

However, expensive big-ticket items alone, like blockbuster cancer drugs or cutting-edge technologies, are not escalating our nation’s medical spending. Far more insidious is something lurking in every hospital in America: waste. Health care waste, primarily in the form of physician-ordered, unneeded tests and treatments, costs approximately $765 billion annually, and comprises 30 percent of total health care spending. Recent actions by the Trump administration will likely only make the problem worse.

Raising Healthcare Spending

Raising Healthcare Spending, home health sellers, home healthcare sellers, hospice sellers

The fact that up to 30 percent of medical care may be unnecessary is not a new finding, but recent reports bring a renewed call to confront a health care system that faces an epidemic of unnecessary services. The trick, of course, is to figure out which services are needed and which are not. One idea taking hold is to change how we pay health care providers, by moving from paying for everything we do, regardless of its necessity, to paying for services that are appropriate and target better health outcomes. In medical jargon, this is called “value-based care” and represents a standardized approach emphasizing best medical practices with a focus on quality and patient safety.

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