Health Care and AI ML

    Who is responsible for managing healthcare rising costs?

    If you have spent any amount of time discussing healthcare policies, you have no doubt heard complaints about the rising cost of healthcare services all across the United States. The rise in prescription costs has been touted as one of the main reasons why people do not refill their medication regularly, and the increase in medical costs over the past five years alone has put a large amount of stress on both providers and patients alike. These costs also stretch health insurance policies to the limit as these groups try to find a way to balance adequate coverage with profit margins. So who is to blame for the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, and what can help reduce the costs overall for patients and caregivers alike?

    Contributing factors

    While referred to as one unified system, healthcare is made up of a wide range of factors and providers that all contribute to the end cost. Healthcare providers, specialists, and pharmaceutical companies all have a role to play in the creation and maintenance of the professional side of healthcare services. The patient is also included in this system of healthcare, as they are the main consumer and creator of symptoms and facilitate the need for treatment plans. In order to understand the cost of healthcare, we need to understand how each of these factors comes into play, starting with the providers.

    A doctor's office is a very costly operation if run correctly. Not only do medical professionals bring a wide array of educational tools to their practice, but the sanitary needs and technical costs of running even a small doctor's office can also become expensive. These costs are not something to skimp on if you expect high-quality treatment from your healthcare providers. However, these costs grow exponentially when it comes to treating large-scale issues and conditions that require invasive surgery. Doctors can now utilize programs like the Internet of Things (IoT) to help track their patient's health remotely, reducing the need for routine visits, which in turn lowers the amount of staff needed on hand at any given time. While programs like the IoT, as well as other machine learning programs, do not remove the need for a well-staffed doctor's office, it can help reduce the number of patients that require treatment on a daily basis. 

    Another often blamed source of health care costs is pharmaceutical companies. Some pharmaceutical providers take advantage of the demand for various medications and increase the pricing by astronomical values, which in turn increases medical costs for doctors and patients alike. However, in some cases, these costs go towards ensuring that the medicinal products are thoroughly tested before they are placed on the market.

    The final factor that contributes to health care costs is the patients themselves. With the increasing costs of medical prescriptions, many patients avoid getting treatment for their issues until the last minute, and many times avoid refilling their prescriptions. This decreases the effectiveness of medication use as a whole and can contribute to the development of more severe medical issues. This, in turn, increases the need for expensive treatment plans, which integrates the resulting cycle of cost-raising found in healthcare.

    When it comes to managing healthcare costs, there is not just one responsible party, since the market affects many different groups at once. A combination of doctors working to keep patient costs low, patients getting treatment for issues while they are still easy to treat, and pharmaceutical companies offering cost-effective options can all help keep the overall cost of healthcare low.

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