Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
World Neurosurg. 2013 Dec;80(6):691-8. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2012.10.021. Epub 2012 Nov 3.

U.S. health care: a conundrum and a challenge.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Illinois, USA. Electronic address: iciric@northshore.org.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This report was conceived as a contribution to the national debate regarding U.S. health care (HC) and as a means of explaining the challenges facing U.S. HC to the international readers of WORLD NEUROSURGERY.

METHODS:

The basic economic concepts pertinent to health care, including fundamentals of economic theories, gross domestic product (GDP), U.S. revenues and expenditures and the U.S. federal deficit and national debt, are discussed at the outset of this study. This is followed by a review of the U.S. health insurance paradigms and a detailed analysis of the escalating cost of U.S. health care. Finally, the efforts designed to reverse the paradigm of escalating health care costs will be discussed.

RESULTS:

This study reveals that should the U.S. HC cost continue to escalate at the same rate, HC would consume the entire gross domestic product by 2070. The root causes for this trend are overutilization of HC, inappropriate allocation of HC costs at the end of life, defensive medicine, high-end technology and prescription drugs, failure of competitive market forces, and administrative costs, inefficiency, and waste. The proposed means of reversing this paradigm, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, are discussed in light of their economic and social impact.

CONCLUSIONS:

The reversal of the current paradigm of escalating cost of U.S. HC will require extraordinary leadership across the entire spectrum of HC delivery. It is concluded that neither the Affordable Care Act nor the Path to Prosperity will succeed unless the escalating cost of U.S. HC is reversed. It is hoped that this report contributes to that end.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

ACA; Affordable Care Act; Escalating cost; GDP; Gross domestic product; Health care; MRI; Magnetic resonance imaging; Opposing views; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Root causes; U.S.; United States; United States of America

PMID:
23131431
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk