Why Is Healthcare So Expensive In The United States?3 min read
It’s no secret that in the United States, healthcare can be incredibly expensive, especially for those without adequate health insurance. However, not all countries have the same rising costs for going to the hospital or seeking medical treatment. In fact, healthcare in the U.S. is about twice as expensive as it is in any other developed country, even as the nation’s quality of care remains on par with other countries or worse. A laser hair removal session may only take 30 minutes, but you’ll be paying a pretty penny for that session. So why is healthcare in the United States as expensive as it is? What makes the costs so high?
Soaring Salaries For Doctors
Generally speaking, medical professionals make more in the United States than they do in other countries worldwide. Even nurses and technicians tend to make more in most practices; the median annual wage for dental hygienists was $74,070 in 2017, significantly higher than in many other countries. While paying doctors is important, the high salaries can push care prices upwards, making it more difficult to access care.
Not Based In Utilization
Despite the common myth, the health care system in the United States isn’t more expensive as a result of people using hospital systems too frequently or overusing services. In fact, many people often avoid seeking health care as a result of increased expenses. Because health care is so expensive, utilization in the United States remains at roughly the same rate as other countries.
This is especially true in the case of mental health services, which people often skip on as a result of climbing costs. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States every year. Despite affecting millions, a fairly small percentage will actually seek out treatment for their anxiety, largely due to the preventative cost of mental health care within the United States.
Climbing Costs For All Types Of Care
Costs associated with healthcare aren’t just limited to the pay of doctors. Generally speaking, healthcare in the United States is more expensive for all types of treatment, from hospital stays to drug prices. Even dentist appointments, which should happen every six months, are becoming pricey. Much of this can be attributed to the way healthcare operates within our country, which allows healthcare providers to set prices with little oversight. The U.S. alone controls over 45% of the world’s pharmaceutical market. This leads to exorbitant costs for life-saving care; when a patient is in critical condition, they’re not able to argue over the price of their treatment. This puts providers in a position of power, allowing them to set ridiculous prices for treatments that, in reality, cost very little.
High Bills, Poorer Health
These high costs are not without their consequences for the health of the general public. According to the CDC, approximately one-third of Americans families struggle to pay medical bills. With health care becoming increasingly expensive in the United States, it’s only a matter of time before the health of the general public suffers; as people are unable to afford care, the general public is put at risk.
According to Stephen Kurtz, CEO of MuscleSound, Inc., “The only factor that will maintain and reduce healthcare costs is applied technology. More non-invasive data will result in improved patient analytics, patient outcomes and return to full recovery.”