The Health Of Health Care

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Health care expenditures have risen drastically in the United States during the past 30 years. Much of the growth in health care spending can be linked to modifiable population risk factors such as obesity, which in turn gives rise to diseases. Rising disease prevalence and new medical treatments account for nearly two-thirds of the rise in spending. (see Per capita spending exhibit 2) It is for this reason that I feel healthcare reforms should focus on health promotion, cost-effective use of medical care, and public health interventions. An ideal society of healthy people regularly exercise, do not overconsume food, eat healthy, use seatbelts, avoid tobacco use, do not drink alcohol in excess, and avoid stress. But if there were no …show more content…

For example, for people who smoke, the lifetime costs, despite their shorter lives, are higher than those for nonsmokers by approximately one third. ( Poor health habits are highly associated with greater burdens of illness and a higher magnitude of mortality. If we can provide our society with information and guidelines about self-management and modest interventions, maybe we could lower rates of use of services. These interventions would offer objective guidelines to help a person decide whether medical assistance is required for a particular problem and give the information about home treatment, if appropriate for that instance. This in turn would give them increased confidence that many illnesses can be self-limited. Education given to consumers can increase their confidence about health decisions which in turn could reduce the costs of long-term health care, even in people with chronic disease. Innovations and advancements in medical treatment have also assumed a key role in the growth of treated disease prevalence. Most of the rise in spending per treated case can be linked to innovations in pharmacologic treatment. ( Many pharmacologic treatment advancements have given physicians new approaches for treating patients conditions, such as depression, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. For depression along, the share of patients prescribed a psychotropic medication increased from 45 percent in 1997 to nearly 80 percent a decade later.

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