The United States has one of the highest healthcare costs in the world. With time it shows no signs of slowing down, and it seems that the trend will continue in the upcoming years. A recent report from the Health Affairs showed that the health expenditures of the country are likely to increase at an average annual rate of around 5.5 percent for the next 10 years. Moreover, by the year 2027, the costs can reach to 19.4 percent of the GDP.
While exploring the various reasons behind this unusual rise in the cost of healthcare, experts have come up with few reasons that could be responsible:
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every 6 out of 10 adults in the country suffer from a chronic disease, and every 4 out of 10 adults have two or more chronic conditions. Nearly 75 percent of the total healthcare spending is due to chronic diseases. The diseases are preventable in several cases and are mostly caused due to excessive usage of alcohol and tobacco, lack of physical activity, and poor nutrition.
The Aging of Baby Boomer Population
Research shows that around 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day, and most of them exit the private health insurance and opt for Medicare or Medicaid services. Around 78 million Americans of this category are aging, and their healthcare costs are rising along with their need for care. Simply put, the older the healthcare-seekers are, the costlier healthcare becomes.
Shortage of Providers
By the year 2032, the United States will face a shortage of around 122,000 physicians. The primary reason behind this shortage is that around 55 percent of all the registered nurses are 50 years or older, and more than 50 percent of the active physicians are 55 or older.
Lack of Transparency & High Drug Pricing
Lack of transparency in the healthcare system is another highly-anticipated reason behind the rising cost of healthcare. It has been making the prescription drugs costlier every year and shows no sign to slow down. An American spends around $1,200 on prescription drugs each year, way higher than that of any OECD countries or other developed countries.
Unnecessary administrative complexity might add up smaller numbers to a bill. However, if seen as a whole, the numbers do not seem small anymore. From transferring medical records from one provider to another to filing out duplicate forms, the cost keeps adding up with time.