Friday, July 15, 2016

How will we survive… not with incremental change…

Consider the $3 Trillion healthcare bill that we had last year…. These are all the costs of generating or curing, hopefully healthy people in the USA, each and every year. For those who know a little about numbers, the “Rule of 70” tells us that if the cost of healthcare continues at the average annual rate of 6%... the cost of healthcare in the USA in 2027 will be about   $6 Trillion… that’s $6,000,000,000,000.

That is also over 17% of the USA GDP... that is a GDP that is growing at an annual rate of less than 2.5%.
So, what will the GDP in the USA be in 2027 if it continues to grow at the 2.5% rate. Simple compounding gets us to $23 trillion, or so. By that time, 2027, healthcare will be over 25% of the GDP of the USA. Interestingly, the Federal Government budget is only $3.7 Trillion.

Healthcare costs for the nation seems to be completely unsustainable! Yet, we continue to work in the government as if we can just print money to keep its part floating… but what can the folks who are spending from their own bank account do?

The current model in the US, with the highest per capita costs in the developed world is also getting the poorest quality… aside medical research and cancer survival rates, the USA ranks 10th or worse in each other category (see the graphic below). Again, if the dollars are unsustainable, what will happen to what is already among the worst outcomes… especially when we are paying out over 2 times what the other counties are paying?

The incremental changes we discuss in the government generally keep the ecosystem currently in place for healthcare in the USA the same as it has been since the 1950’s. Doctors, Hospitals, Pharmaceutical companies and Insurance companies are the focus. Regulations and standards are based on keeping them profitable, under all circumstances… regardless of quality. The system is not working!

The focus needs to be on the patient. The patient needs to be in control of her file and able do decide what is best for her and her family. This is not the case today, as anyone with an experience bordering on or including a catastrophic event. If other countries can do it (again, have a look at the chart below), then the USA can do it, too.

But it needs to be brave!

But it needs to be brave!

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Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!