A look at CNN Money and PayScale.com‘s list of highest-paying types of jobs in America (on average) suggests one of the major reasons that U.S. healthcare costs are astronomical. The top three jobs are anesthesiologists, radiologists and general practitioners.
This New York Times article looks at why Americans have less access to healthcare than much of the rest of the Developed World.
One reason the author, Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., notes is:
“The United States, for all its spending, has fewer general practitioners per population than any of these other countries. In 2013, America had half as many primary care physicians per 1,000 people as the next-closest country (Sweden) and one-fifth the number in France or Germany.
“There’s an element of supply and demand here. When you have too few primary care physicians, it won’t be as easy for patients to see them. When you give more people insurance, this problem will only get worse, when many new patients try to access the health care system.”
He doesn’t mention the cost and access effects of U.S. physicians being by far the highest paid in the world.
To read The Times’s article, please hit this link.
Even as hospitals try to reduce readmissions to follow value-based payment models, many of the factors that cause higher readmission rates are location-related and therefore out of hospitals’ control.
A study in the Health Services Research journal attributed 58 percent of the variation in hospital 30-day readmission rates to the demographics of the county where the hospital was located.
The biggest factors in identifying areas with higher readmission rates: larger percentages of the population eligible for Medicare, higher numbers who had never married and “low employment designation.”