Health Care Cost and Consumption Patterns.
Health insurance premiums are rising at an annual double-digit percentage rate. The sticker shock of rising premiums provides the strongest force for change (Miller, 2002, 2). This rising cost of health insurance is influenced by the continuing rising cost of health care. The increasing share of medical bills by third-party payers (insurance companies and government) cause patients to over use medical resources since those resources appear to be free or almost free (Liebowitz, 1994, 1). Medical equipment, devices, advanced drugs, and sophisticated test like the full body scan continue to raise the cost of medical care. The more or better available is what the public demands. .
Economics according to the Merriam- Webster dictionary is a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services (Merriam & Webster, 2002). Health care is a service, a good being consumed at a rate causing a devouring of America's resources, and responsible for a large percent of the gross national product. According to Scott Liebowitz a professor of managerial economics in the Management School of the University of Texas, attributes of the health care delivery system that makes it inefficient is the reliance on third party payers, who paid 77 cents of each dollar of medical expense in 1990 (Liebowitz, 1994, 2). Government policies removing patients as purchasers in the medical market place is another contributing factor influencing inefficiency and high medical cost. .
The excessive cost of our current medical system can be described in three categories, overuse of medical resources by patients, cost of administrative and paperwork, and finally the cost of malpractice suits. The final is driving physicians, good physicians out of the healthcare industry. Cutting medical expenditures must begin with cutting consumption, which does not call for not receiving necessary healthcare, only being willing to pay for what we receive, everyone wants Cadillac care but few are willing to pay even for Fords rates.