04.29.11

One Illness Away From Bankruptcy

Posted in Marketing & Promotion, Uncategorized at 6:04 AM by Dr. Greathouse

Recently, Blue Shield of California announced its plans to raise rates by as much as 59%, and as the bellwether Golden State goes, so does the nation.

Most Americans fail to realize the huge economic impact of the medical industrial complex until they feel the crunch from unpaid medical bills that caused 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the US in 2007, according to study by Harvard researchers.  To the surprise of even the researchers, 78% of those filers had medical insurance at the start of their illness, including 60.3% who had private insurance coverage, not Medicare or Medicaid.

Dr. David Hemmelstein, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, commented: “unless you’re Bill Gates you are just one serious illness away from bankruptcy”.

Not only are costs and bankruptcy skyrocketing, so is accountability.  During the health-care reform debate it was notable that the medical industrial complex — the American Medical Association, the HMOs, big Pharma and the American Hospital Association — was not called before Congress to explain why there is a healthcare crisis wrought with high costs and poor outcomes.

Unlike the Detroit auto executives and Wall Street bankers, whose feet were held to the fire at congressional hearings, the medical cartel avoided such public humiliation and offered no explanations.

In 2006, doctors performed at least 60 million surgical procedures of all types, one for every five Americans.  No other country does nearly as many operations on its citizens.

Although America is touted as the best of the best in healthcare, undoubtedly those many countries whose health statistics are superior to America’s might disagree.

Not only are surgeries rampant, but many are also ineffective and dangerous.  Barbara Stansfield, M.D., MPH of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, reported that medical care is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, causing 225,000 preventable deaths every year as tools to make them safer go unused.  Deaths from prescription drugs now ranks fourth only to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2000 the US ranked number one in cost, number 72 in population health, 37th in healthcare delivery, with 48 million Americans lacking sick care coverage.

According to Forbes.com, back pain ranks in the top 10 of diseases in America, with over $40 billion spent annually for direct treatment costs and other estimates of indirect costs, including disability & work loss, totaling $100 to $200 billion per year.

Data Provided By J.C. Smith MA, DC

Editorial

Back pain is possibly in the top ten of most mismanaged diseases as well, which leads to higher cost and poor outcomes. This doesn’t have to be, newer data supports more effective and thus less costly assessment and treatment approaches to treating back, neck and extremity pain.We practice outcome orient care! If you need care, give us a call and lets us put things in better perspective in short order. Experience good results at less cost!

Dr. James E. Greathouse

Chiropractic Physician

(312) 725-6314

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