Recent research conducted and published by Gallup in partnership with West Health, underscores a sad fact; one that roughly 98 million Americans are already painfully aware of. The issue is the often-prohibitive cost of healthcare and the difficult decisions many must make to meet it.
The study results were extensive and concerning. Here are some of the things people felt they had to do to make medical ends meet:
- 26% skipped medical care or prescriptions
- 10% cut back on utilities
- 7% skipped a meal
- 6% borrowed money
Lower household incomes naturally played a part in these coping measures. However, even those earning $180,000 annually saw 19% taking one or more of the above steps to accommodate medical costs. Women were disproportionately affected, particularly those under 50.
The ever-increasing cost of healthcare is a vicious cycle that everyone in the medical profession must do their part to ease. Let’s consider the bigger picture of how letting some people suffer financially is bad for both the individual and the country.
The National Impact of High Healthcare Costs
People in poor health either work below their capacity or can’t work at all, neither of which increases their likelihood of affording medical care or promotes a healthy economy. Nor does the massive amount of money needed to treat those who fall into the financial hole of skyrocketing medical expenses.
The National Health Council estimates that chronic disease (which includes both physical and mental illness) is projected to cost America $4.2 trillion dollars in lost economic output and treatment costs by next year. More than one in four Americans have multiple chronic conditions and the number of people suffering from chronic pain is only going to get higher.
It will have increased by 37% in 2030; a figure that translates into 46 million more sick people for a total of 171 million Americans in medical need. You can bet that medical costs will continue to soar between 2022 and 2030 making positive action by the medical community a responsibility, not a choice.
With so many Americans having little faith that Congress will help them meet healthcare costs in the next six months and beyond, how can chiropractic do its part to ease this financial struggle?
How ChiroHealthUSA Can Make Healthcare More Affordable for Your Patients
An annual ChiroHealthUSA membership covers a patient and everyone in their immediate family, reducing out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Providers who join CHUSA can set the level of network-based, legal discounts they offer to their patients. The application is simple, and our team offers further assistance to make sure your practice stays compliant. Let us help you provide the treatment your patients need without them having to resort to desperate measures. Just contact ChiroHealthUSA to learn more.
Dr. Ray Foxworth, DC, FICC, is founder and CEO of ChiroHealthUSA. For over 35 years, he worked “in the trenches” facing challenges with billing, coding, documentation, and compliance, in his practice. He is a former Medical Compliance Specialist and currently serves as chairman of The Chiropractic Summit, an at-large board member of the Chiropractic Future Strategic Plan Committee, a board member of the Cleveland College Foundation, and an executive board member of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. He is a former Staff Chiropractor at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center and past chairman of the Mississippi Department of Health.