Is this the beginning of an end? As if the outsourcing and terrorism wasn’t enough.. and now what we get is this….health spending will be a major drain by 2020 for the US economy!
By 2020, more than $1 out of every $5 spent in America will go toward health care.
America may be headed for an era in which it might spend more on health care than it does on manufacturing.
That could lead to more pressure to send jobs overseas, more employers would stop offering health insurance and more people would be uninsured.
The grim prognosis was part of a global survey on health care delivered Wednesday by PriceWaterhouseCoopers to a group of Valley health care executives.
Rising health care costs are a global issue, with aging populations and workforces demanding better health care.
But the United States faces an even more pressing problem: It spends the most on health care but gets middle-of-pack results, including average life expectancies.
Valley health executives say they see daily the effects of rising health care costs. One of the most obvious: more uninsured patients coming to the emergency departments.
Spending more on health care can lead to a healthier, productive workforce, but the question remains: How much health care spending can the American economy absorb?
“It’s a problem if the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is not going up,” said Jackie Edwards, a PriceWaterhouseCoopers director based in the Phoenix office.
The consultants, who advise clients around the world on health care practices, suggested several strategies that can cut health care costs somewhat. They include:
Consumer control: As costs rise, consumers will pay more of their bills, especially with high-deductible plans. Patients will ask more about price and quality of health care. Government, insurers and others will try to provide guides to help them comparison shop.
Technology: Computerization and genomics will continue to be developed to provide better care for lower costs. That includes more electronic medical records and use of personalized medicine based on applied genetic research.
Collaboration: No industry has as many “silos” as health care, Edwards said.
Hospitals, doctors, laboratories, researchers and others need to work together to save money and improve care, she said.
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