The rate of health care costs continue to spiral out of control. Factors to consider:
(1) Malpractice Costs: Premiums and the cost of Defensive Medicine
(2) Drug Costs: In 2010, the United States spent $262 billion on prescription drugs which is about 10% of total health care spending (JAMA, January, 2012). New and better drugs require a tremendous investment in R&D.
(3) The "Million Dollar Baby": Babies who consume more than $250,000 in Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units require sophisticated interventions to save lives.
(4) Chronic Conditions: Approximately 10% of the population consumes about 64% of health are expenditures related to coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure and diabetes. Patients need
to alter their diets, stop smoking, exercise and come to grips with the fact that many chronic conditions can be improved and altered by better life-styles and preventive measures.
(5) End of Life Costs: Cost related to the last few years of life with medical and surgical interventions are ethical issues that are complicated and individual. Every patient should have "An Advance
Directive for Health Care". This is a legal document which contains your wishes regarding both a
"living will" and the appointment of a health care proxy.