Overall state of health care costs in America

No one is immune to the rising costs of health care. Consider the following news stories: “In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job” (Halle & Seshamani, 2009, Introduction, para. 1).

“President Obama’s health care law is putting new strains on some of the nation’s most hard-pressed hospitals, by cutting aid they use to pay for emergency care for illegal immigrants, which they have long been required to provide” (Bernstein, 2012, para. 1).

“Doctors in America are harboring an embarrassing secret: Many of them are going broke. This quiet reality, which is spreading nationwide, is claiming a wide range of casualties, including family physicians, cardiologists and oncologists…Doctors list shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations, rising business and drug costs among the factors preventing them from keeping their practices afloat” (Kavilanz, 2012, para. 1, 2, 5).

In this Discussion, you examine the overall state of health care costs in America, the different factors impacting the finances of health care organizations, and the effect of rising costs on all stakeholders.

To prepare:

Review the Learning Resources on the level of health care spending in the United States.

Consider the ramifications of continuing at this level of spending as well as issues involved with reducing spending.

Reflect on which stakeholders (payers, providers, and the general population) should be responsible for making decisions on health care spending.

Question: Post an assessment of the consequences (on payers, providers, and the general population) of continuing current levels of health care spending in the United States as well as the potential consequences of reducing the level of spending. Explain which stakeholders should make health care spending decisions and why.

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