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Wide variations in Medicare costs across different regions

Wide variations in Medicare costs across different regions

Recent studies that have been conducted, reveals that there is huge variations in Medicare costs across different regions of the country. Some regions and states spend differently for their Medicare enrollees that have led to a concept of partiality, which may have been followed by Medicare. However, the report also provides several other findings that have put the reasons of such variations in costs on various other factors, not holding Medicare as solely responsible. This article summarizes the entire issue, along with giving lots of important details and other findings of the report.

The costs of the Medicare program differ widely throughout the nation. This is proved as per a study, which discovered that the government is compensating twice the cost to offer health care treatment services to a patient at Miami than that in San Francisco.

The striking variations in Medicare costs doesn't relates with the weather of a place or the state of residence of an individual. It is however found, that people who resides in posh regions, is generally deprived from availing better care services.

As per a report brought out on February 25, 2009 by Dartmouth Atlas Project that conducted a research on medical resources; it was proved that pretty costly health care technology is actually the tip of the iceberg. The other reasons are yet to be discovered. The other details of the report and its results will be available in print in New England Journal of Medicine.

The study remarked that the variations in expenditure from one region to the other are because of the judgments that are taken by each physician, who are inclined to the nature of medical services, that accessible close by.

The head author and a lecturer of medicine at Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Dr. Elliot Fisher, have remarked that technology cannot be held responsible to influence increase the increase in health care expenditure. As per him, the people are liable for such rise of costs.

Fisher didn't completely held physicians liable for the increase in costs, but also includes the presence of regional clinical health competition amidst regional hospitals; community having an individual hospital that concentrates on giving primary care and many others are the additional factors for this issue.

The findings of the study shows that the Congress arranges to handle the health care renovation task; the same idea that was stressed by US President Barack Obama in his nationally broadcasted speech on February 24, 2009.

In the budget plan, the president has offered to reserve an amount of $635 billion for the following 10 years to compensate for the health care renovation task. That is why; he proposed to minimize the expenditure to be made on Medicare, so that the money can be used to sponsor the project of health care renovation.

Medicare is the popular option of people of 65 years of age or above to avail health care coverage. It is responsible for owning a large share as far as medical expenses is concerned. In this year 2009, Medicare program is anticipated to cost above $500. Presently, around 44 million people are under the coverage of Medicare.

The findings of the Dartmouth Atlas project is based on an assessment of the government Medicare information from the year 1992 to 2006. It points out major inaccuracies in care services at different regions of the nation. It suggests that health care renovation can become a reality, in case low cost health care practices are employed in the country.

However, the study pointed out that such things will not be easier to achieve, as the American medical system employs the usage of very costly medical treatments and methods. For instance, hospitals will not be able to make profit, in case they reform care services in a manner that cuts down over admissions of patients. Even no doctors will receive any economic incentive for listening to their patients. Instead of that, they will generally like to refer patients immediately to any specialist. Health care professionals and institutions will not be able to receive any financial gains for teamwork, effective, management or even for following traditional practices.

As per the study, amidst the twenty-five leading hospital-referring areas, the most expensive was Manhattan, which spent $12,114 for each patient, in the year 2006. Minneapolis was found to be the least costly, which spent $6,705 for each patient.

Amidst the states, a sum of $9,564 for each patient was spent by New York. This was the highest amount that was spent by any state behind each Medicare recipient. On the other hand, Hawaii was found to pay the least, i.e. $5,311 for each Medicare patient.

Medicare compensated $16,351 for each of its recipients at Miami in the year 2006 while at San Francisco; Medicare spent only $8,331 per enrollee.

The rise of rates in compensation has to huge variations from one region to the other.

The authors of the study summoned the doctors to help cutting down excess costs by choosing conventional care practices. Doctors are also requested to self-inspect the patients thoroughly before referring them to any specialists straight away.

However, the study also concluded, that doctors will also require support from the legislators, who will need to transform the payment methods to remunerate quality of care and not the amount of care services, which is provided to patients.

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