This year, more and more American adults are delaying medical care because they cannot afford it. This trend is pushing up treatment costs and worsening the health of patients.
This summer, 30% of Americans gave up care due to cost issues, up from 18% Earlier this year, According to Western Health and Gallup. About one in five said that they or their family members have seen their health deteriorate in the past year. These companies surveyed 6,663 people in September and October.
Low-income families and people of color Overburdened Depend on COVID-19 pandemic, Highlighting the indomitable health equity issue. High medical expenses hit those who cannot afford it the hardest. In the past year, about two-fifths of Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured health conditions (usually chronic diseases) deteriorated after giving up care.
Now, the financial impact is expanding to households with an annual income of at least $120,000, with 20% of households reporting delays in care due to expenses in the three months prior to the survey.
Tim Lash, chief strategy officer at West Health, said that as healthcare becomes increasingly unaffordable and families are increasingly desperate, the pace of change in this year’s survey results is eye-opening.
“Delayed care can be fatal,” Rush said. “But in addition to major reforms on the drug and provider-payer side, we will see an increase in the number of dead bodies.”
A 66-year-old interviewee reported that his sister died of cancer in July. Her insurance company did not approve the recommended scan, so she couldn’t afford it.
This anonymous interviewee is one of 12.7 million Americans-equivalent to 5% of the total population-they have Lost a loved one In the past year, because they could not afford medical expenses. Compared with whites, black adults are twice as likely to know the dead.
Gallup Senior Fellow Dan Witters said: “For the richest country in the world, suffering such a high mortality rate due to inability to pay – if this is not a wake-up call, I don’t know what it is. Wake-up call.” “When people have to put $60 in gasoline into the tank or spend more on groceries, this does exacerbate the deteriorating medical cost crisis in the United States.”
The survey shows that more than 40% of adults worry that they will not be able to pay for the health care services they need next year.This trend is reflected in inpatient and outpatient settings and pharmacies, where More prescriptions were not filled.
Fewer and fewer patients are entering St. Joseph’s Orange Hospital in Providence due to stomach problems. But when they did, their condition was worse than before the pandemic, said Glenn Laupp, executive director of behavioral health, emergency and observational health at the non-profit Catholic Hospital in Orange, California.
“There are fewer and fewer endoscopy and colonoscopy,” Raup said. “So when they finally show up in the ED, their situation is much worse.”
Experts say that during the pandemic, the utilization rate of emergency departments has dropped significantly, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The healthcare system is full of wasteful expenditures, and patients use emergency rooms for non-life-threatening problems.
Some suppliers may feel pressure to increase utilization to make up for lost revenue, which may explain part of the reason for the rising cost burden. But observers say that avoiding necessary care, especially for those with chronic diseases, poses a major threat.
“Many people are suffering from new chronic diseases,” Rush said. He said this prolongs the period of disproportionate health care cost exposure. “The healthcare system is under-equipped and it can sometimes take months or years to resolve the social and physical problems associated with these types of diseases. Our path to escape the pandemic may be clearer, but the path to escape the financial toxicity of healthcare is not. “