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News Blog

Too Many Shoulders to the Wheel

by Eric S. Peterson
Posted // 2010-05-20 - Dartmouth Atlas Health Care study finds Provo leads the nation in shoulder-replacement surgery. The result, likely of physician-owned clinics, pimping the procedure a little too aggressively. In other words, “market forces” have struck again.

Generally frugal Utah—often lauded by even President Obama—have been found subject to commercial traps of aggressive marketing that tend to drive Medicare costs up through the roof. Critics are saying the proliferation of physician-owned clinics and the expansion of local hospitals like Intermountain Healthcare are prompting hospitals to get their money’s worth out fancy new facilities and equipment. For Utahns this means new shoulders for everybody!

The downside for Obama is that many of the cost-cutting measures used by Utah hospitals and healthcare providers were some of his key bullet points in how to counteract the trillion plus price tag for Obamacare.

Double fail when you consider that if Utah healthcare providers are driving up Medicare costs through overzealous shoulder replacements, with cost-controlling measures already in place, then other cities and states are going to feel the Medicare pressure even worse. Ultimately the reason why formerly thrifty communities are feeling a Medicare bump, according to the good folks of Kaiser Health News and the Washington Post, is the same reason all over: Healthcare is a business, and every hospital and doctor has to keep up with the Dr. Joneses through a game of unnecessary one-upsmanship.

But I guess there’s no real way to address this fundamental problem right? If only there was some kind of “single-payer” system out there that could provide coverage to all and curb costs through unnecessary spending. Hmmm…if only such a thing existed anywhere in the world. Alas...

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REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // May 21,2010 at 09:57

"Healthcare is a business, and every hospital and doctor has to keep up with the Dr. Joneses through a game of unnecessary one-upsmanship.

But I guess there’s no real way to address this fundamental problem right? If only there was some kind of “single-payer” system out there that could provide coverage to all and curb costs through unnecessary spending. Hmmm…if only such a thing existed anywhere in the world. Alas..."

Exactly why the new piece of crap HC bill will be a major, costly failure. Precicely why the HC bill was a failure to begin with - a showman's stage prop and little more.

As long as doctors and hospitals are able to charge as much as possible, run as many expensive tests as possible and do as many unnecessary procedures as possible, it won't matter what you do with the insurance industry - they'll just charge higher premiums to compensate for higher payouts.

We are a commodity to the multi-billion dollar HC industry. We are a dollar sign, a source of revenue. Our collective illnesses, real or invented, often exacerbated by doctors, are sustained by the so-called health care we get in the US. It is not in the HC industry's interest to keep us healthy.

I do not understand why people think their health care here in the USA is so great.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // May 20,2010 at 17:31

We don't do too bad in Lasic surgery and cosmetic surgery either. Which leads to more Viagra scrips. Can't explain the shoulder surgeries in Provo, except for one cause you can figure out

 

 
 
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