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Report: Prices, Not Demand, Behind Huge Hike in U.S. Health Spending

Published date: November 21, 2013 | Modified date:
by Dr Stephen Wangen

A recent article from US News highlights a study that finds that Contrary to popular belief, the biggest reason for the rise in U.S. health care spending is not an aging population or patient demand but rather the increasing costs of drugs, procedures and hospital care.

The big increase in prices for most providers is the cost of dealing with the insurance companies and billing.  That cost has risen at nearly 6% per year.

The IBS Treatment Center has not increased consultation fees since we opened in 2005.  Lab costs have risen, but, for our most popular testing, at a rate under 3% per year.

From USNews.com:

“First, price increases have driven the increase in health care costs since 2000. The price of drugs and devices has risen by about 4 percent a year, on average. Hospital charges have shown a similar increase. Meanwhile, administrative costs — what doctors and hospitals expend getting payments from insurers and patients — have gone up by nearly 6 percent each year.

it continues…

And “market forces” don’t come into play. “Patients never see 90 percent of these costs,” Moses said, and even doctors may not know how much a treatment costs. With medical devices, like implantable heart devices, for example, hospitals sign confidentiality agreements with manufacturers that prevent them from sharing price information — and knowing whether they are getting a good deal or not.”

Questions about treatment with the IBS Treatment Center? Contact us to learn more.

(photo: commons.wikimedia.org)