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U.S. Health Care Lags Worldwide for Those Over 65
Old 12-15-2014, 08:06 AM   #1
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U.S. Health Care Lags Worldwide for Those Over 65 (May be behind a pay wall.)


 Our older population is sicker. We lead the list in the proportion of people over 65 who have two or more chronic diseases (68 percent report hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.) and who take four or more prescription drugs (53 percent). Only a third of seniors in the United Kingdom have multiple chronic conditions. (The survey didn’t include residents of nursing homes or other care facilities.)

“One thing we know contributes to this is not having an ongoing, stable source of health insurance throughout your life,” Ms. Osborn said. Before they became Medicare-eligible, American seniors may have forgone preventive treatments or let conditions worsen because they couldn’t afford care.

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Old 12-16-2014, 06:07 AM   #2
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Well we certainly have a half fast HC system but I doubt that has much to do with the chronic diseases. Most of them are related to our diet. We lead the way in that regard in that other nations are rapidly following in our tracks.

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Old 12-16-2014, 06:20 AM   #3
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I think it is because of unnecessary tests and drugs that are covered by insurance so why not use them? when I was a kid nobody ever heard of sleep apnea, then all of a sudden if you snore, don't sleep good, etc. you should be tested for apnea. and today everyone has anxiety or depression, you need an anti-depressant. 15 minutes at the doctor cost 150. and generic drugs cost 15. and your good to go.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:08 AM   #4
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I wish I thought it were only as simple as this or that. More than any other developed country, we don't have a "system." we have a hodge podge at best. So we pay way more than any other country and double the OECD health care cost average per capita for much poorer outcomes for many reasons, for starters in no particular order:
  • lifestyle (obesity, smoking, drugs)
  • high cost and profit for intermediaries (insurance)
  • excessive profit for some product and service providers (medical equipment, pharma)
  • administrative burden (millions of microplans)
  • no coordinated medical records
  • high charges for specialized services
  • forced use of expensive specialized facilities for routine medical needs (emergency room)
  • multiple regulations around the country
  • punitive legal awards
  • diagnostic overuse (expensive tests even for routine matters)
  • treatment overuse (especially end of life)
  • excessive unproductive labor vs technology
  • plus significantly/ironically, excessive usage by many patients
I don't know about where you are, but in our middle income community, new hospitals and clinics seem to pop up monthly, each more elegant than what it replaces. I don't know of any other local industry that seems to be so well "capitalized."
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I don't know about where you are, but in our middle income community, new hospitals and clinics seem to pop up monthly, each more elegant than what it replaces. I don't know of any other industry that seems to be so well "capitalized."
Yeah, what is up with that?! I was with my Dad last month at a small local hospital in the suburbs of a city in NC for a surgery he had. It was like a five-star hotel. Water fountains, atriums decorated like the mall atriums, a grand piano in the lobby with someone playing away. I thought I was at a cocktail party.

BTW, this is a lot like my son's university. You can't believe how upscale their facilities have become. And the dining halls are incredible with all kinds of food bars - the sushi bar, the mongolian grill, the soup/salad bar, the pasta made-to-order bar. Nothing like the slop we ate while in college.

Both HC and higher education seem to be well capitalized.

I also concur with your list above re: the complex issues that contribute to the very high cost of HC in this country that doesn't deliver the best results. There is no easy, magic fix.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:40 AM   #6
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One thing about the chronic diseases . Sure, the US lifestyle is less healthy than in the past. But at the same time, standards for diagnosing diseases have become increasingly aggressive, putting more and more peopl on drugs. So the statistics are inflated as a result, IMO.

Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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