Several key changes are necessary to get control of the costs associated with the run away health care system in the United States.
Here are just a few suggestions:
1) Cost information about medical procedures and cost comparisons to alternative treatments need to be more easily available so that consumers can make better educated health care choices.
2) Outcomes and outcome comparisons of alternative medical procedures need to be more available so that health care consumers can make more informed decisions.
3) Consumers need to take more responsibility for their health, health care treatment, and research the cost and outcomes of certain procedures prior to electing medical care.
4) Federal and state governments need to quit passing unfunded mandates that mostly add to the cost of care while reducing overall access to care.
5) Frivolous lawsuits and the threat of frivolous lawsuits cause doctors to practice defensive medicine in order to reduce the chance of being sued. The resulting tests are many times "overkill" and simply do nothing but increase the cost of care.
6) Consumers need to let their physicians guide them on the most appropriate treatment regimen. Drug companies have been successful in creating a demand for their products by convincing consumers to "ask your doctor about..." We need to get back to discussing our problems with our physicians rather than requesting a particular drug or treatment.
Michael Ertel is the President of Ertel & Company ( http://www.ertelandcompany.com ) and has over 15 years of experience in the health insurance business. He is the founder of http://www.MedicalInsuranceNow.com which is an internet based service that assists individuals, families, and small business owners by providing side by side comparisons of health insurance alternatives and the convenience of applying for health coverage online.