Too Many Shoulders to the Wheel | Buzz Blog

Too Many Shoulders to the Wheel

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Dartmouth Atlas Health Care study finds Provo leads the nation in shoulder-replacement surgery. The result, likely of physician-owned clinics, pimping the procedure a little too aggressively. In other words, “market forces” have struck again.---

Generally frugal Utah—often lauded by even President Obama—have been found subject to commercial traps of aggressive marketing that tend to drive Medicare costs up through the roof. Critics are saying the proliferation of physician-owned clinics and the expansion of local hospitals like Intermountain Healthcare are prompting hospitals to get their money’s worth out fancy new facilities and equipment. For Utahns this means new shoulders for everybody!

The downside for Obama is that many of the cost-cutting measures used by Utah hospitals and healthcare providers were some of his key bullet points in how to counteract the trillion plus price tag for Obamacare.

Double fail when you consider that if Utah healthcare providers are driving up Medicare costs through overzealous shoulder replacements, with cost-controlling measures already in place, then other cities and states are going to feel the Medicare pressure even worse. Ultimately the reason why formerly thrifty communities are feeling a Medicare bump, according to the good folks of Kaiser Health News and the Washington Post, is the same reason all over: Healthcare is a business, and every hospital and doctor has to keep up with the Dr. Joneses through a game of unnecessary one-upsmanship.

But I guess there’s no real way to address this fundamental problem right? If only there was some kind of “single-payer” system out there that could provide coverage to all and curb costs through unnecessary spending. Hmmm…if only such a thing existed anywhere in the world. Alas...

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