There is currently a huge dilemma facing the healthcare system in the US. The retirement of a generation of US citizens who fought hard and sought to make America bigger and better. It is expected that by 2020, the costs for both Medicare and Medicaid are expected to double. Pew Research and the Social Security Administration estimated the figures to be around 10,000.
More than 10,000 baby boomers are retiring everyday, and the healthcare system might be unable to support them
According to CNBC, retired couples are expected to fork out more than US$275,000 in out of pocket expenses for healthcare, and that is not even taking into account of long term expenses related to nursing or rehabilitation. A search has unveiled that these baby boomers might only have 50% probability in covering the costs.
Healthcare costs are increasingly rapidly across the US
Industry data estimated that costs for both Medicare and Medicaid will more than double by 2020 and as the cost for health services increases, the portion of the bill which is borne by the government and funded by taxes will cover significantly lesser amount as the bill keeps on increasing. There are claims (quoted from CNBC) that the Trust Fund might be bankrupted by early 2030, and taxes might not even be sufficient to cover half the costs!
What can be done to tackle the increasingly complicated healthcare system and the rising costs of healthcare?
For a long long time, I have always been thinking how can healthcare be decentralized, yet consistent in quality and delivery? People who I have spoke with do not believe healthcare can be disrupted, as there are too many giants. In fact, we have not seen a fall in price for healthcare. Do not get me wrong, the amount you are paying could be much lesser (because of subsidies), but the generic price level for various treatments and drugs has only increased.
Current innovations in healthcare revolves around working with the biggest companies and hospitals (innovative devices, innovative after care programs, innovative monitoring systems, innovative insurance risk management etc.), and very few promote an independent service or product to the industry. This is not surprising (people trust doctors and nurses, for good reasons).
Healthcare is something which is close to our hearts, and has serious implications if misinformation results in actual casualties. What then can be truly novel for the industry and will it be a product or a pill which monitors (monitoring devices), prevent (vaccines) or eradicates (cures) diseases and conditions?
Until the answer is found, we at CuraHOPE will never give up on the search. We know the end goal, the eradication of diseases and conditions, and from where we are now to where we need to be, there is a humongous gap. However, stories like this drive us every single day. One possible way to flip the equation is transparency and equality, sort of like Amazon for healthcare, being extremely clear on the disease and the solution patients can buy or learn about. We believe the first step is information.
What are your thoughts on how the healthcare system can be sustainable for the next few decades?