Americans Spend a Lot on Healthcare. But is all that Money Just Creating a Healthcare Mirage?

If you can't access it, is the best healthcare in the world really just a mirage?
If you can’t access it, isn’t the best healthcare in the world nothing more than a mirage?

The good folks at NPR just published a fascinating look at healthcare spending on a country-by-country basis. And they plotted their data (courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) on a neat interactive graph:

Healthcare Spending by Country
Healthcare Spending by Country

One conclusion the author makes is that on an annualized basis, “the United States spends the most on health care per person — $9,237,” while “Somalia spends the least – just $33 per person.” Of course, for every American who has access to and uses the US healthcare system (indeed, that’s just about every American), perhaps the biggest question hanging over the ongoing public debate on healthcare access in not how much we are spending, but rather whether we are in fact getting the best possible care for every dollar spent.

The author does give some consideration to that question by asking: “Do measures of health, like high life expectancy, improve as medical spending goes up?” Concluding that, “Well, yes, but it’s a little hard to prove that higher spending causes better health outcomes. It’s easier to show that higher spending leads to more health services provided and more people covered for health services.” And yet, while most Americans have access to a greater range of healthcare options than ever before, if they can’t access those services, then those options are little more than a mirage – an imaginary desert oasis that they will never be able to drink from to improve their own health outcomes.

So what can you do?

Well, at Ride N Care, we know that one of the biggest challenges to accessing the incredible array of health and wellness services available is having safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation options. While working as a patient transport specialist for UCLA Medical Center, our founder had a front row seat to observe how access to transportation can improve healthcare outcomes and ultimately, people’s lives. But he also saw first-hand how few transportation options were actually available for people with mobility challenges, or for anyone who needs a little extra assistance to make sure they get where they are going – and safely home again. Danilo founded Ride N Care to give folks who need assistance with their transportation and mobility challenges a one-stop solution: a place where both individuals – and the institutions that care for them – can turn to find the best transportation option at the lowest cost.

Because in the end, if you can see the healthcare oasis in the distance, but you can’t get there because you lack access to safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation, then the most expensive healthcare system in the world really is nothing more than a mirage.

Hit the link to read the full NPR article.

The One-Stop Health + Wellness Transportation Marketplace
The One-Stop Health + Wellness Transportation Marketplace