Runaway Healthcare Expenditures

While most people’s wages are growing at a glacial pace, medical expenditures continue their meteoric rise.  No one can deny that skyrocketing healthcare costs are getting ridiculous for nearly everyone in the United States.  Unfortunately, this trend is not set to change anytime soon.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, national health expenditures totaled over $1.3 trillion in the year 2000.  By 2013, this figure was $2.9 trillion.  It took less than 15 years for national health expenditures to double.  Looking at the numbers more closely, we can see that this egregious rise in medical costs affected households and private businesses alike:

From 2000 to 2013, the rise in household health expenditures was staggering, shooting from $434 billion to $823 billion, while employee and individual policy premiums more than doubled, from $133 billion to $300 billion.
In the same time frame, private business expenditures shot from $346 billion to $610 billion, and employer contributions to private health insurance premiums went from $255 billion to $471 billion [1].

Obviously, there are many factors involved in determining healthcare costs, but this rise is largely attributable to wasteful practices, inefficient hospital care, and the low quality of care by many medical providers.  Despite performing more than 50 million procedures a year on an outpatient basis, hospitals have a difficult time bringing costs down, though they are certainly trying [3].  Unfortunately, runaway healthcare costs often seem unstoppable.  In 2013, expenditures for hospital care represented 38% of of personal healthcare costs [2].  Even worse, in 2014, over 47 million people under retirement age belonged to families who were unable to pay their medical bills [4].

Soaring healthcare costs in the US are having a deleterious effect on both patients and their employers.  Both personal income and corporate profits suffer severe losses every year.  Fortunately, there seem to be emergent solutions.  When healthcare costs are unpredictable, as is currently the case, the most obvious solution is to negotiate pricing.  BridgeHealth allows its plan members and plan sponsors to accurately forecast their healthcare expenditures by setting the rates ahead of time.  This case rate pricing means that patients and employers alike can adequately budget for their medical expenses.  BridgeHealth’s surgical network comprising only the top 25% of physicians and hospitals means that this pricing model never affects quality of care.

With BridgeHealth, patients and their employers can be sure that they will have the support they need throughout the entire surgical process.  Our professionals save our members and sponsors up to 40% on major surgical procedures, and our network of providers minimizes adverse effects, complications, and 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
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