Over the last decade, healthcare costs have continued to rise in the United States, therefore placing greater pressure on the medium to lower classes of society and also straining the public healthcare system further. The first major reason behind increasing healthcare costs is technology and the increasing need for more enhanced technology to alleviate symptoms and issues concerning disease and other healthcare issues. For example, the installation of electronic databases for healthcare facilities, clinics and hospitals has costed the taxpayer and state departments thousands of dollars and further burdens clinics with thousands of dollars of debt (CDC, 2015). The second major reason is administration and hospital fees associated with tightening administrative protocols and state and national requirements. Hospital fees vary from those placed on patent care to staffing and legislative fees that are required to be paid by hospitals providing ongoing care. Furthermore, overall hospital costs in the United States is costing the taxpayer up to $84 Billion a year and this figure continues to increase as the population increases as well as unemployment rates. Public programs such as Medicare are also expensive and costing the taxpayer and state departments more (AHIP, 2015). Another cause behind increasing healthcare costs is the degrading health of American citizens and the advent of new and more chronic health conditions. For example, in the last 20 years, HIV has become a prominent life threatening condition that has costed patients and the overall tax payer billions of dollars (Merhar, 2014). Expenditure on healthcare and disease research also increases healthcare costs. Such diseases as Ebola and other extensive viruses also require quick medical solutions at a high cost.
The three main groups affected by increasing healthcare costs are: the payer, the provider and the patient. These three groups are affected by extensive healthcare costs in a number of ways. The payer experiences increasing taxes and healthcare costs associated with their own level of private or publically funded healthcare (CDC, 2015). They will continue to struggle to pay for increasing healthcare taxes and bills. The provider such as a healthcare fund or insurance company experiences decreasing revenue and capital as less individuals sign up for insurance due to increasing healthcare costs. Less people will be inclined to insure in private healthcare. The patient also experiences financial difficulty with increasing healthcare costs, which forces them to delay operations or surgeries or signing up for insurance (Appleby, 2012). This can result in worsening levels of health and place increasing pressure on the system to alleviate symptoms and issues associated with disease and poor lifestyle across American populations.
Payers attempt to control the costs associated with healthcare by signing up with providers that do not provide comprehensive care or by limiting their reach and influence with insurance companies. In many cases, they may refuse to sign up with any insurance or healthcare providers if the costs are too high. This results in a lower level of healthcare and further strain on the American public healthcare system (CDC, 2015).
Providers attempt to control increasing healthcare costs by providing clients with reduced deals or alternatives that further benefit their customers rather than their own interests. They attempt to pursue strategies that will retain their existing clients and this can result in reduced revenue (AHIP, 2015).
Patients can control their need for healthcare by improving their lifestyle and health and avoiding the need to attend healthcare appointments (CDC, 2015). By exercising and maintaining a healthy diet on a frequent basis, patients will maintain a higher level of health, which will reduce their need for surgery or hospital care and in turn, reduce associated healthcare costs. This places less strain on the public and private healthcare system and can positive influence other components of the healthcare system such as providers and payers.
- AHIP. (2015). Rising Healthcare Costs. America’s Healthcare Insurance Plans. Retrieved
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- Appleby, J. (2012). Seven Factors Driving Up Your Health Care Costs. PBS, Retrieved from
- CDC. (2015). Rising Health Care Costs are Unsustainable. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/businesscase/reasons/rising.html
- Goodman, L, Norbeck, T. (2013). Who’s To Blame For Our Rising Healthcare Costs?
Forbes, Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/04/03/whos-to-blame-for-our-rising-healthcare-costs/ Accessed on 20
- Merhar, C. (2014). Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog. Zane Benefits,
Retrieved from http://www.zanebenefits.com/blog/seven-reasons-for-rising-health-care-costs Accessed on 20