One initiative that could potentially reduce the cost of healthcare in America is the creation of a common provider fees. In this initiative, there will be the development of a shared contract between all healthcare providers and plans. The guidelines for the shared contract will be created by expert healthcare providers in conjunction with the national government. Standardized fees will be charged by different healthcare providers. The second initiative is a national data warehouse (Yamamoto, 2009). The data warehouse will inform patients on the charges of various healthcare plans thus allowing them to compare. Increased comparison will create increased competition among providers thus driving healthcare prices down.
Increased healthcare costs reduce the quality of healthcare in the U.S. This is mainly because people tend to go for the services they can afford as opposed to services they need. For example, a patient who needs both cancer screening and therapy will only go for screening since he she cannot afford both screening and therapy at the same time. In another example, an individual family member will only take health insurance for himself since he is not able to take a cover for himself and his family. The family is left without health insurance.
Generic drug availability is important as it allows people to get access to medical drugs, without having to go with the recommended brand. Drugs for a particular disease come in assorted brands and prices, but they are all meant to perform the same curative function. Generation brands gives people the option to reduce costs by buying a drug to cure their condition at lower prices instead of buying a recommended drug at higher prices (Thomas, 2013). For example, an uninsured diabetes patient can buy metformin drug at lower prices instead of going for insulin therapy that is expensive. In another example, a hypertension patient can buy metoprolol instead of other expensive hypertension drugs such as Thiazide diuretics.
- Thomas, K. (2013). Why the Bad Rap on Generic Drugs? The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2017 from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/sunday-review/why-the-bad-rap-on-generic-drugs.html
- Yamamoto, D. (2009). Three Initiatives to Reduce Costs and Increase Healthcare Efficiencies. The Health Care Blog. Retrieved April 22, 2017 from http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2009/07/08/three-initiatives-to-reduce-costs-and-increase-health-care-efficiencies/