Healthcare: Follow the Money
Forgive our cynicism, but to understand our current healthcare system, we must understand that it’s all about the money. Decisions are primarily made based on how they financially affect the parties involved.
Follow the Money
We live in one of the most technically advanced countries in the world and spend the most money on our healthcare system. Most people find it quite amazing that our health results are much lower than the rest of the world. The main reason for our demise, simplistically is that we’ve built a system based on money rather than health.
We have the wrong reward system set up. If we follow the money, we see how people will act in order to get paid.
- What are insurance companies paid to do? Keep claims low and keep premiums high. Maximize profits for shareholder returns.
- What are Rx companies paid to do? Sell drugs. Maximize profits for shareholder returns.
- What are hospitals paid to do? Get people in and out fast. Run tests. Give treatments. Maximize profits.
- What are doctors paid to do? Prescribe drugs. Run tests. Do invasive procedures. Maximize profits.
There is no built-in reward for prevention. No reward for correcting unhealthy lifestyle behaviors.
As the system will continue to evolve over time (and it must), we find ourselves in great need to navigate the present system. We must sift through the bad and the good and avoid what is detrimental and embrace what is helpful. Each component of our system is motivated and aligned with the purpose to increase cash from their position. There are good people in each component, but the system itself is flawed and we as consumers must be aware of the pitfalls and dangers inherent in our present healthcare system. Only as we become aware and fully realize the current situation, will we be ready and prepared to create a new one.
U.S. leads the world in healthcare spending and ranks 37th in the world on overall health system performance
Lesson: We pay a lot of money for healthcare services, yet we are still not very healthy