An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Or does it? There are 32 nations with a greater life expectancy and 37 countries with a lower infant mortality rate than the United States. Either we aren’t eating enough apples or there’s something else going on. So, why does the United States remain the premier option for rare cases? And, how can we take charge of our own healthcare to lower costs and improve results?
Nearly 18 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009 went to healthcare spending. A compilation of studies from the Congressional Office shows nearly 50 percent of this cost is associated with technology. This makes the United States the primary choice for all major medical cases of the world’s affluent.
Just how much of a technology advantage does the United States have? In Seattle alone, only a couple of years ago, there were 19 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. In all of British Columbia, there were three. MRIs find problems such as tumors, bleeding, injuries, blood vessel diseases, or infections. Often this information can’t be found through x-rays, ultrasounds, or computed tomography (CT) scans. Without access to an MRI, patients can suffer severe or fatal medical setbacks.
MRI’s come with a significant cost. So do surgeries, cutting edge medicine, and the best doctors. Often the United States’ poor statistics, such as life expectancy and infant mortality, are associated with these exorbitant costs which prevent the economically disadvantaged from receiving medical care. How can you, as the healthcare consumer, improve your medical treatment without the huge price tags? One way is to be an educated healthcare consumer and make educated decisions about your own course of treatment. Just ask West Shell, CEO of Healthline.com. This website focuses on providing clinically accurate, technically relevant health care information to consumers. Reaching over 100-million people a month, it helps you research problems, doctors, and potential treatment plans so you can make informed decisions.
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