The economy of healthcare has never been so depleted as is the case now. The healthcare system has been fraught with flaws from the start and as a result, a broken method continues to yield broken results. The industry has been suffering for a length of time. This is due in part to a breakdown in proper communication, inadequate training, substandard accreditation where necessary, and an overall cacophony of various committees and departments all scrambling to do the same thing in perfect unison. While this is the standard mode of operation, it is most often impossible. The complete lack of true organization within the failing system has led to the breakdown.
When a system is organized ineffectually from the beginning, one of the greatest threats to the safety and efficiency of that infrastructure is financial instability. One of the incredible weaknesses in the field of healthcare, like every other aspect of the government to date, is the epidemic of overspending. Overspending in the medical field is rampant and it is directly to blame for its downward hurdle into destruction. The way that much of this over spending occurs is due to mandates by insurance companies.
The type of care and the procedures performed depend entirely on the type of insurance or lack thereof that the patient possesses. Unfortunately, in this failing economy many go without insurance, regardless of plans in place to help alleviate the lack of coverage. Sometimes, it simply is not an affordable option and there are many families and individuals who find themselves in the middle ground between the poverty level and the middle class. Often, there are too many finds present to qualify for government aid, yet there is not enough money to allow all people to participate in the new programs either.
For these reasons, the industry suffers because the needs of society outweigh the resources available to treat them. This causes an influx in the amount of patients who owe money for the treatments they desperately need, but are restricted by limited resources with which to cope with their current ailment. When the two elements are combined, the results are disastrous to say the least. Providers are restricted by law as to the procedures they can do in accordance to what the patient needs versus what insurance companies will allow. Not only this, but as time progresses, the flow of revenue continues a downward cycle in that many patient bills are written off due to the costs of court proceedings related to delinquent accounts.
Now, in the aftermath of the veritable circus that has been created of the medical industry, many are feeling the burn elsewhere. As if it were not enough that rising costs continue to skyrocket, the costs of drugs also follows suit. Rising costs of necessary drugs are all but crippling Americans, many having to choose between life saving medications and their bank accounts. A shocking number of deaths have occurred in the U.S. due only to a patient’s inability to pay to save the patient’s own life. The Hippocratic Oath that is sworn by doctors upon completion of their training states: “first, do no harm.”
However, harm continues to be done to the system, to the patients who depend on it, and to the nation. The vicious cycle is exacerbated by the pressing need for healthcare and the providers’ desperate scramble to care for everyone and still be able to put food in the mouths of their own families. The system is failing. Programs designed to benefit are continuing to hurt, and in fact, expanding the problem further. The problem is, there are too many cooks in the kitchen and nobody seems to know how to make the broth.
Until the government realizes that it has no way of determining what is necessary for patient care because the government is not a provider as of yet, then the struggle will continue. Ignorance reaps ignorance and the production of programs based solely on the ideals of well-wishers does not heal the gaping wound. The system is in jeopardy as healthcare continues to fail.
By: J.A. Johnson