Considering the various choices individuals and organizations have regarding how their charitable donations are used, we realize how important it is to provide a clear understanding of the current healthcare problems we are experiencing in the United States and what support of The Healthcare Research Foundation will do to help solve what we believe should be considered a major social priority.
The Problem: The Truth about Healthcare in the United States in 2015
Much has been said about the quality and cost of healthcare in the United States and it is usually assumed that healthcare costs for U.S. citizens is far more expensive than in other countries. It is also often implied that the resulting medical outcomes are not nearly as good. The reality is that healthcare in this county is, by far, the best in the world and the true cost is not nearly as expensive as we are many times led to believe.
The truth is that while policy makers claim this country now spends about $3 trillion a year on healthcare, the THRF hypothesis is that the United States spends only about $1.9 trillion on actual healthcare. The remaining $1.1 trillion is spent purely to support a capitalistic economic and distribution arrangement that is “unique” to the United States healthcare system.
We contend that any cost comparisons made, especially from an international perspective, are clearly overstated because we are comparing a healthcare system that has to support a $1.1 trillion a year profit infrastructure to other healthcare systems that typically do not have that financial burden.
If we are to view healthcare as a right intended for the overall public good and to serve the public interest, we must at least define and quantify how we should design a United States based “socially optimized” healthcare system. And while it is acknowledged we may not be able to change conditions immediately, our plan, at the very least, should be to educate our college students, who will be our future policy makers, to all future possibilities.
The Solution: Educate our Future Healthcare Providers and Decision Makers We’ve learned from other doctoral research involving similar financial issues that finding the most appropriate forum is the key to improving the long term healthcare environment for most Americans. THRF believes that the college environment, and the appropriate pedagogic or academic approach, is also the key to success in this situation.
As such, the THRF solution to improving healthcare in the U.S. is to first initiate best practice research methods using seasoned doctoral researchers to confirm why healthcare delivery and financing in the United States is not cost effective and not currently designed to provide for the greatest public good. This will be accomplished by performing appropriate clinical and econometric studies and isolating the areas that need specific improvement.
In addition to adding to the current healthcare research, THRF will design and suggest feasible and viable alternatives. The Healthcare Research Foundation will continue to support schools that currently utilize our teaching philosophies, as well as to assist with the development of additional healthcare risk management and insurance schools in the future. Our scope includes writing the syllabi for those institutions, developing the appropriate course studies and taking an active role teaching the student population.
While it is important to relay the truth about healthcare in the U.S. and help students gain an understanding of the issues that need improvement, it is also vitally important to prepare them for the resistance they can expect from those currently in the healthcare industry who like everything just the way it is. An industry absorbing over a trillion dollars a year, within a three trillion dollar industry, will not accept change easily, so suggested alternatives to today’s healthcare practices must be able to withstand considerable headwinds.
As practitioners and academics of healthcare finance, The Healthcare Research Foundation research team understands the power of the professor podium and how important the undergraduate and graduate college forum is to changing long term opinion. Having spent many years involved with healthcare delivery and financing, as well as teaching those principals to our future decision makers, we understand the need to study the issues at hand, relay the truth of the environment and help our students understand the difference between the perfect social world and the current realities.