The United States is the wealthiest nation in the world but is also one of the unhealthiest. Americans have shorter life expectancies and higher rates of chronic diseases than people in other developed countries.
The space between the care that providers want to give and the care that the patient receives is enormous. The area is full of barriers — tasks, paperwork, and bureaucracy. Each is a point where someone can say no. There are endless appointments with different doctors, tests that need to be scheduled, and a wait for treatment that could extend weeks or months.
The American healthcare system is often considered dysfunctional for several reasons. Perhaps because there is too much profit or “players” involved, but here are some reasons why.
On the cusp of open enrollment season, consumers are concerned about the high costs impacting their access to healthcare, increasing medical debt, and the lack of mental health coverage, according to a new nationwide survey by Gravie and Wakefield Research. As long as profits are a priority, patients will continue to suffer.
Until 1973, federal law did not encourage health insurance providers from functioning under a profit motive. By the late 1990s, 80 percent of MCOs were for-profit organizations, and only 68 percent or less of insurance premiums went toward medical care. The remainder was paid for MCO executives’ and salespersons’ salaries. In retrospect, it was a huge mistake.