Michelle M. Sotero
On August 31 Bill Briggs of NBC News published a story about the rising cost of surgeries and how insurance companies dictate cost of health care. The article focuses on the cost of health care. Specifically the cost of surgeries and the differences between insurance contracts. The article was slanted in a way that rising health care cost is bad. The article is related to chapters 5 "Technology and Its Effects" and 6 "Financing and Reimbursement
Methods". Rising health care cost is an important issue, because it affects us all. Health care cost is a big problem, because people without insurance or below the poverty line will get little to no help at all. Based on what I have learned in the class, I recommend cutting back on health care advances.
The article starts off by listing all surgeries that have risen by 15 percent or more in cost since 2009. These include hernia repair, gall bladder removal, hysterectomy and hip replacement. HealthCare Bluebook, which is like Kelley Bluebook for cars was used to determine the spike in cost of such surgeries. Briggs then goes on to write about how places who are near each other charge prices that vary significantly. “For example, an MRI may cost $500 at one facility and over $3,000 at another facility across the street" (Briggs, 2014). He then explains that the price of operations are determined by either Medicare or insurance companies.
In 1994, two hospitals in Massachusetts, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts
General Hospital, merged into one system that was allowed by lawmakers of the state. The
merger resulted in the two hospitals driving up the cost of healthcare. Briggs would then write about the Affordable Health Care Act or Obamacare. Obamacare encourages doctors and providers to work together, in return these doctors and providers get incentives. The result, a rise in cost of surgeries since the doctors and providers control the market since there is little to no competition. As we talked about in class, Briggs' article goes to explain why technological advances are bad for people who barely could afford health care.
Briggs' article is focused more against the rising cost of healthcare. It reminded me of the debate discussion we had from chapter 5 and 6. To better describe it, he wrote his article as if he was in the negative group. He does not present the benefits of the rising health care cost.
At the end of Briggs' article, he writes "Those tech advances include robotic surgeries, now performed hundreds of thousands of times a year for certain procedures, including hysterectomies. A doctor sits near the operating table at a console, where he or she can manipulate robotic arms while watching through a 3-D viewfinder" (Briggs, 2014). That statement is probably the only positive thing Briggs wrote in his article about the rising cost of healthcare. Briggs' article is linked to chapters 5 and 6 of the class. "Although some medical technology may reduce costs, as a whole technology has contributed to health care cost escalation" (Shi and Singh, 106). Briggs' article focuses on the bad side of rising health care cost as described on chapter 5 of the book "Technology and It's Effects". Compared to Briggs' article, chapter 5 weighs in both the cost and the benefits of having advanced technology in healthcare.
Chapter 6 "Financing and Reimbursement Methods" shows how healthcare is payed by the consumer. "Both moral hazard and provider-induced demand waste health care resources and
add to the rising cost of health care" (Shi and Singh, 132). Just like Briggs' article the book also describes the influence consumers and providers have in the cost of health care.