The U.S healthcare system is at a crossroads
Medical Economics | November 04, 2019
The U.S. healthcare system is at a crossroads. In one direction, we have the Mack truck of chronic disease barreling toward us. By 2020, about 157 million Americans — nearly half of the U.S. population — will be managing a chronic disease, with 81 million people managing more than one. These conditions are incredibly costly, representing 75 percent of the nation’s $3.3 trillion annual healthcare costs. And new research published in September shows that death rates have either stopped decreasing or are increasing for some of these conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In the other direction, we have a looming healthcare provider shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections, there is a need for an additional 203,700 new RNs each year through 2026 to fill newly created positions and to replace retiring nurses.