Health Expenditures as an Ever Growing Trend

There is no doubt that healthcare costs are getting out of hand for nearly everyone in the United States. While real wages barely crawl up, the financial burden of medical expenditures soars higher every year. And this trend is not about to change.

According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, national health expenditures totaled $1,378 billion in the year 2000. Within only a little over a decade, this figure has more than doubled to an incredible 2,919.1 billion dollars in 2013. If we break down these numbers, it is crystal clear that both private businesses and households suffered a severe rise in medical costs:  

  • Private business expenditures went from $346.5 billion in the year 2000 to $610.9 billion in 2013, and employer contribution to private health insurance premiums rose from $255.1 billion in 2000 to $471.1 billion in 2013.
  • The rise in household expenditures was even more alarming – from $434 billion in 2000 to $823.8 billion in 2013, and employee contribution to private health insurance premiums and individual policy premiums rose from $133.6 billion in 2000 to $300.2 billion in the year 2013. [1]

There are varied reasons for the overall rise in healthcare costs, but the inefficiency of hospital care, wasteful policies and low quality of care of many medical providers are significant factors that contribute to the ascending trend. It appears than many hospitals are incapable of bringing the costs down despite obvious improvement tactics, such as performing various surgeries (e.g. knee arthroscopy, hernia repair, large intestine endoscopy, etc.) on an outpatient basis. Hardly are revolutionary tactic in a world in which there are now more than 50 million outpatient surgical procedures in the United States a year. [3]

And yet, nothing seems to stop out-of-control healthcare costs, expenditures for hospital care accounted for 38% of all personal health care expenditures in 2013 [2] and 47.7 million people under age 65 were living in families which had problems paying their medical bills in the year 2014. [4]

The continuous rise in healthcare costs is taking a heavy toll on both patients and their employers by reducing personal income and corporate profits. Luckily, there are solutions to the problem emerging from the private sector. By understanding how difficult the lack of predictability of healthcare costs is affecting self-insured organizations and their plan members, BridgeHealth is taking a different approach to handling out-of-control medical expenditures. Through negotiated case rate pricing, patients and their employers are now able to accurately predict the ultimate cost of a surgical procedure in advance and budget for these costs accordingly. Furthermore, BrigdeHealth members have their surgical procedures performed by a specialized network of extremely high quality providers consisting of physicians and hospitals ranked among the top 25% in the country.

At BridgeHealth our professionals assist organizations and their plan members throughout the entire surgical process, lowering costs for both patients and employers on major surgical procedures, with minimum adverse effects, post-surgery complications and hospital readmissions.

To find out more, contact us for a free assessment of how BridgeHealth can enhance your healthcare benefit program.

1) Health, United States, 2013; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus14.pdf#105

2) Health, United States, 2013; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus14.pdf#105

3) U.S. Outpatient Surgery Passes Inpatient, to 53 Million a Year, Tampa Bay Times, http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/us-outpatient-surgery-passes-inpatient-to-53-million-a-year/1124313

4) National Health Interview Survey Early Release Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/probs_paying_medical_bills_jan_2011_jun_2014.pdf