I am not about to challenge the use of the adjective to describe our health care costs, but I did not choose it. Rather, it comes from an article in The Washington Post: “21 graphs that show America’s health-care prices are ludicrous“.
The article cites 2012 statistics recently released by the International Federation of Health Plans that compares health care costs around the world. The 21 graphs look at the costs of certain procedures and drugs in different countries, including the US. Here are just a few samples, and, believe me, they are not just chosen to make a point. The point is pretty darn clear:
- Routine office visit – Canada $30; US $176
- Angioplasty – United Kingdom $14,366; US $61,649
- Hip replacement: Average of UK and Australia $19,850; US $87,987
- C-Section: France $6,441; US $26,305
- Cost per hospital day: Australia $1,472; US $12,537
- Colonoscopy: UK $893; US $2,627 [Editorial note: They should pay us to have this procedure!]
- Lipitor: Chile $60; US $145
There are more stats, so you may want to read the whole article. The bottom line – the very depressing bottom line – is that, from the viewpoint of the rest of the modern world, our costs are totally ridiculous.
We can talk about Medicare reform and the Affordable Care Act ’til the cows come home. Until we actually take a look at home as a place for delivery of health care, including non-clinical home care, and start developing new, innovative tools and broadening the definition of telehealth for providing better care in that environment – Home Care Metrics℠ as an example – we do not have much of a chance of truly lowering our health care costs.
Best wishes. Bert