"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Friday, November 2, 2012

End-of-Life Spending on Health Care

Yesterday, I blogged about the rationing of health care. It is a very difficult topic to discuss as no one wants to withhold anything from anyone especially related to one's health and well being.  However, what I find interesting is that the fear of rationing could be more of an "American thing," if you will.  My reason for thinking that way is depicted in the graph below.  It shows US spending for health care by age group compared to other countries.  On the graph, you will see that beginning at age 58 spending in the US begins a rapid ascent and reflects much higher spending per capita for older adults in the US compared to other industrialized nations.  In the US, the federal government spends $1.7 trillion per year on health care and 44 cents of every dollar spent is borrowed due to our debt situation; obviously unsustainable.  Countries like Spain, Great Britain, Germany and Sweden have figured out how to keep spending to a reasonable level for their citizens; possibly, we could learn how they have accomplished the ability to care for their citizens no matter what their age.  Have a good weekend after a very challenging week for many of us.

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