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Old 07-01-2013, 01:30 PM   #1
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American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/he...d.html?hp&_r=0
Obviously "skewed" statistics, but nonetheless, wow! And people wonder why American birth rates are plummeting (excerpt):

Childbirth in the United States is uniquely expensive, and maternity and newborn care constitute the single biggest category of hospital payouts for most commercial insurers and state Medicaid programs. The cumulative costs of approximately four million annual births is well over $50 billion.

And though maternity care costs far less in other developed countries than it does in the United States, studies show that their citizens do not have less access to care or to high-tech care during pregnancy than Americans.

"It's not primarily that we get a different bundle of services when we have a baby," said Gerard Anderson, an economist at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health who studies international health costs. "It's that we pay individually for each service and pay more for the services we receive."

Those payment incentives for providers also mean that American women with normal pregnancies tend to get more of everything, necessary or not, from blood tests to ultrasound scans, said Katy Kozhimannil, a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health who studies the cost of women's health care.

Financially, they suffer the consequences. In 2011, 62 percent of women in the United States covered by private plans that were not obtained through an employer lacked maternity coverage, like Ms. Martin. But even many women with coverage are feeling the pinch as insurers demand higher co-payments and deductibles and exclude many pregnancy-related services.

From 2004 to 2010, the prices that insurers paid for childbirth - one of the most universal medical encounters - rose 49 percent for vaginal births and 41 percent for Caesarean sections in the United States, with average out-of-pocket costs rising fourfold, according to a recent report by Truven that was commissioned by three health care groups. The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care was about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section, with commercial insurers paying out an average of $18,329 and $27,866, the report found.

Women with insurance pay out of pocket an average of $3,400, according to a survey by Childbirth Connection, one of the groups behind the maternity costs report. Two decades ago, women typically paid nothing other than a small fee if they opted for a private hospital room or television.

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Old 07-01-2013, 01:39 PM   #2
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America's health care continues to fall behind other countries both in quality and cost. Perhaps if we could get over the fallacy of being #1 at everything, people might push for actual reform.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:21 PM   #3
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American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World

Our standards are also much higher. When my wife gave birth, she had her own private room, private bathroom, private shower, etc. that is not a common luxury around the world, hell, even in some places in the US. My wife gave birth at a private high end hospital and the bill was close to $14500. After the bill was adjusted by the insurance company, it was about 9k. My father said that a normal healthy delivery should range in the approximate area of 7500-8500. We also have much higher malpractice insurance premiums than anywhere else in the world, one of the highest education costs in the world, and corrupt laws that do not allow insurance companies to compete.


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Old 07-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by casino is no lie View Post
America's health care continues to fall behind other countries both in quality and cost. Perhaps if we could get over the fallacy of being #1 at everything, people might push for actual reform.
BS. There is no country on the planet that has healthcare as good as the US provided you have the money to access the best.


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Old 07-01-2013, 02:28 PM   #5
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BS. There is no country on the planet that has healthcare as good as the US*.

*provided you have the money to access the best.
According to the WHO there are 37 other countries ranked ahead of the United States.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:35 PM   #6
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According to the WHO there are 37 other countries ranked ahead of the United States.
Their numbers are political, and the reporting is inconsistent from the individual countries*. We've been over this many times before. Additionally, they use things like average life span to judge our medicine...which is stupid considering all the violent crime, automobile deaths and obesity we have as part of our culture. It is not an indictment of the medical system.

*For example when we talk about infant mortality rates some countries don't count babies under a certain weight. The US counts almost all of them, so it makes it appear like we have higher infant mortality rates. Stuff like that.

http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...ng_differences
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Last edited by Act of God; 07-01-2013 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:43 PM   #7
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America's health care continues to fall behind other countries both in quality and cost. Perhaps if we could get over the fallacy of being #1 at everything, people might push for actual reform.
Big question then, how much will the quality go down after Obamacare go live?

Quality and cost are outputs, not what needs to be evaluated and changed. Efficiency.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:45 PM   #8
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Emphasized critical caveat:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NFRs2000nyc View Post
BS. There is no country on the planet that has healthcare as good as the US provided you have the money to access the best.

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Absolutely right, the best care money can buy. As for the rest in the U.S. who don't have a gold-laden bank account to buy that gold-plated car, well, maybe tin-plated might be the more omnipresent reality.

Trouble is, it takes an inordinate amount of money to buy that top-notch health care you refer to, which is fine if you have, individually, an inordinate amount of money. Trouble is, looked at systemically, we have inordinately expensive health care overall and one that delivers sub-par overall results for all that money spent. This represents an immense drain on our economy, a drag on our competitiveness and huge financial burden on families. Health care costs is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy, IIRC.

Other advanced industrialized countries are delivering better quality aggragate care for about half the percentage of GNP expenditures. Bottom line, they getting a lot more bang for a lot less buck.

Were a company faced with similar efficiency stats, they would declare an executive emergency and do all it takes to deliver competitive services as measured in cost and quality. Rather, we as a country dither over hollow ideology rather than taking a pragmatic approach of examining and, well, copying what works, well, for others.

End result: we're paying about twice as much as other first world countries for what is overall (with some bright exceptions) second world results. This article is but another grim example of the system we have.

Last edited by Rhumb; 07-01-2013 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:47 PM   #9
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you know what'll fix it? Government involvement. Works every time.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:52 PM   #10
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Their numbers are political...
And your numbers are nonexistent. At least give me something to work with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carskibum View Post
Big question then, how much will the quality go down after Obamacare go live?
Obamacare didn't suddenly trigger your doctor(s) to become more or less capable at their professions.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:56 PM   #11
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And your numbers are nonexistent. At least give me something to work with.
I did in the edit
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:58 PM   #12
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America's health care continues to fall behind other countries both in quality and cost. Perhaps if we could get over the fallacy of being #1 at everything, people might push for actual reform.
Childbirth and medical care is not the problem It is the blood sucking lawyers and selfish parents that want to sue every time they have a kid that is not 100 percent.

It is always someone else's fault instead of the parents or just fate.

So the hospitals have to do every test and take every precaution to make sure all the bases are covered so they don't get sued or go to jail.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:58 PM   #13
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American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World

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Originally Posted by casino is no lie View Post
According to the WHO there are 37 other countries ranked ahead of the United States.
The ranking is an average. The average level of care. However, if you have the means you get the best in the US. The only reason anyone leaves the US for medical care is to save money. There is only one reason why people from all over the world come to the US for medical care.


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Old 07-01-2013, 03:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rhumb View Post
Emphasized critical caveat:



Absolutely right, the best care money can buy. As for the rest in the U.S. who don't have a gold-laden bank account to buy that gold-plated car, well, maybe tin-plated might be the more omnipresent reality.

Trouble is, it takes an inordinate amount of money to buy that top-notch health care you refer to, which is fine if you have, individually, an inordinate amount of money. Trouble is, looked at systemically, we have inordinately expensive health care overall and one that delivers sub-par overall results for all that money spent. This represents an immense drain on our economy, a drag on our competitiveness and huge financial burden on families. Health care costs is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy, IIRC.

Other advanced industrialized countries are delivering better quality aggragate care for about half the percentage of GNP expenditures. Bottom line, they getting a lot more bang for a lot less buck.

Were a company faced with similar efficiency stats, they would declare an executive emergency and do all it takes to deliver competitive services as measured in cost and quality. Rather, we as a country dither over hollow ideology rather than taking a pragmatic approach of examining and, well, copying what works, well, for others.

End result: we're paying about twice as much as other first world countries for what is overall (with some bright exceptions) second world results. This article is but another grim example of the system we have.
Please let me know which country you speak of (that has better than US common folk medical care) has 300+ million people and 20 million+ illegal immigrants using their medical systems....go ahead, ill wait.


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Old 07-01-2013, 03:01 PM   #15
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And your numbers are nonexistent. At least give me something to work with.


Obamacare didn't suddenly trigger your doctor(s) to become more or less capable at their professions.
Yes he did. Many are retiring or not taking insurance.


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Old 07-01-2013, 03:02 PM   #16
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Childbirth and medical careis not the problem It is the blood sucking lawyers and selfish parents that want to sue every time they have a kid that is not 100 percent.

It is always someone else's fault instead of the parents or just fate.

So the hospitals have to do every test and every precaution to make sure all the bases are covered so they don't get sued or go to jail.
Troof. Running 19 tests just so doctors don't get sued adds an extraordinary amount to medical costs.


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Old 07-01-2013, 03:04 PM   #17
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My wife and I didn't pay more than $1k total for all medical bills related to our kids being born and she had a c-section both times, private room, etc. I'm not complaining, but then again, I have excellent insurance.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:22 PM   #18
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Yes he did. Many are retiring or not taking insurance.
Doctors retire every year. And the one's who haven't are all taking my insurance. Plus the one's who are not taking insurance are charging less.

It's too bad about your doctor though. Perhaps next time you'll choose one who is motivated by something other than your wallet
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:22 PM   #19
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Let the chest thumping begin.

Since birth is the case for discussion here. The European Union who has a population over 500 million has an infant mortality rate of 4.40 per 1,000 births while the US is at 5.9 per 1,000 births. In fact a majority of European countries boast a better rate than the US. Greece, UK, Luxembourg, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, France, Iceland, and Sweden are some that have better birth rates than we do (CIA Factbook). To claim we have better healthcare and higher standards than some of the countries listed is a fallacy. The US doesn't always do everything better. It can improved and other countries have great ideas that we can borrow. Pride and arrogance are act as America's blinders.

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Old 07-01-2013, 03:29 PM   #20
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Obamacare didn't suddenly trigger your doctor(s) to become more or less capable at their professions.
Actually, it will once go down once finally implemented. Competent doctors will retire and low quality med devices and pharma products will begin to reign.

We can do more with less, undoubtedly. But hospital networks are choosing to cut costs instead of becoming more efficient.
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