The drivers of healthcare costs are complex and challenging to understand and manage effectively (Appleby, 2012). These drivers often include economic concerns that are less than efficient and that produce negative outcomes for consumers (Appleby, 2012). In this capacity, it is important to determine how to address these cost drivers so that consumers are not negatively impacted over time (Appleby, 2012). Many of the challenges associated with cost containment for healthcare services are impacted by negative cost drivers that are out of control and pose a significant risk for the consumer population (Appleby, 2012).
The continued growth of chronic diseases, obesity, and other factors have been significant in supporting the ever-increasing cost of healthcare services in the United States (Khan, 2010). Therefore, these conditions translate into increased numbers of visits for office visits, prescription drugs, testing, and other needs (Khan, 2010). As these chronic conditions expand and grow, their impact on the healthcare system will also increase over time (Khan, 2010). This also translates into increased out of pocket costs for healthcare premiums as required by many employers (Khan, 2010). With these costs on the rise, discussions have been raised regarding the marketability of healthcare services to improve regulation and reduce the consumer burden (Colorado Health Institute, 2012).
Cost drivers for healthcare services lead to significant challenges associated with the development of new methods of reducing these costs. With the continued growth of chronic illness and an aging population, healthcare needs are greater than ever. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new and innovative strategies to reduce these costs and the burden of healthcare services on the end user through effective healthcare reform, the appropriate level of government involvement, and the ability to improve health-related outcomes through a greater emphasis on healthy living.
Appleby, J. (2012). Seven factors driving up your health care costs. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/10/seven-factors-driving-your-health-care-costs.html
Colorado Health Institute (2012). A fresh look at health care cost drivers. Retrieved from http://www.coloradohealthinstitute.org/key-issues/detail/new-models-of-health-care/a-fresh-look-at-health-care-cost-drivers
Khan, H. (2010). Why health care costs keep rising: what you need to know. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/HealthCare/health-care-costs-biggest-drivers/story?id=10044091#.UeDdOW23qSo