To look at the future of healthcare, it is necessary to look back to its past as well. Exploring the industry's past can better explain spending and wellness initiatives heading forward. The numbers may come as a surprise.
Since 1950, healthcare costs in the United States have increased a whopping 274 times. The number of times goods have increased in average price is eight. At the current time of 2013, 20 percent of the GDP healthcare consumes has reached $2.8 trillion. Finally, according to the Congressional Budget Office, 25 percent of the GDP healthcare will be consumed thanks to the current trends being continued.
Escalating Healthcare Costs
On average, $2.8 trillion is spent on healthcare in the United States alone. These numbers can be further broken down for better understanding. Seventy to 75 percent of the money is spent on treating medical conditions that are preventable. Meanwhile, another five percent of finances are spent on preventing chronic diseases.
Generally speaking, the cost of medical care in the United States tends to be higher than that of many other countries of the world. The United States also ranks 37th in global life expectancy. Healthcare spending by the United States as a percentage of GDP is at 20 percent. This is quite high when compared with several other countries. For instance, France falls at 11.6 percent, Canada and the United Kingdom at 11.4, Spain at 9.6 percent, Australia at 9.1 and Chile at eight percent.
How much does it cost? Breaking it down
A routine visit to the doctor's office is also considerably higher in the United States at $175. Other countries, meanwhile, are as follows as in Chile, it is $38, Canada and France spend $30, $25 in South Africa, $11 in Spain and a routine doctor's office visit is as low as $10 in Argentina.
Not surprisingly, medical procedures are also more costly in the United States versus other nations. While a bypass surgery will cost the average American $150,515, it is $43,230 in Australia, $37,044 in South Africa, $22,844 in France, $17,437 in Spain, $14,117 in the United Kingdom, $12,401 in Chile and only $8,882 in Argentina.
Delivering a baby and the cost of the cholesterol drug Lipitor are also more expensive in the United States. One benefit, however, is that employers are including more wellness programs into their businesses, which have increased quite rapidly over the past five years. With that being said, the average cost of ensuring health care for employees comes to around $10,558 that businesses are required to spend.