Physician’s Weekly and Dr. Linda Girgis hosted their continuing #PWChat series on Wednesday, June 21. The topic discussed was the increasing costs in healthcare, and what the biggest drivers of those increases are.

Additional field experts, along with interested patients, talked about a variety of subjects surrounding this topic, which included: how healthcare costs have changed in recent years, what clinician-specific factors have helped drive up healthcare costs, the biggest patient-specific contributors to increased healthcare costs, the role health insurance companies have played in driving up healthcare costs, and more.

You can view our upcoming schedule, or read our other #PWChat recaps here.

Here are the highlights from the chat: You can read the full transcript here.

 

Question 1

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Q1: How have healthcare costs changed in recent years? Tell us what you’ve seen. #PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) June 22, 2017

A1. Costs have been rapidly climbing, with patients footing larger portions of the bill. #PWchat
— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) June 22, 2017

Q1: When my senior partner started practice. They were 4 hosp admin (1979). The number of beds has tripled, but now there’s 34 admin #pwchat

— Brad Holland MD FACS (@DrBradHolland) June 22, 2017

T1 We’ve gone to a pay to play structure & have monetized data. Cost are rising in response #PWChat https://t.co/Qrz7rqI2qp
— ShereeseM, MS/MBA (@ShereesePubHlth) June 22, 2017

 


Question 2

Q2: What clinician-specific factors have helped drive up #healthcare costs? #PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) June 22, 2017

A2. New therapies have been developed and when utilized, raises the price tag of healthcare. #PWchat
— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) June 22, 2017

Q2: we spent a tremendous resources on compliance, which never really equates to quality. The pt couldn’t care less about compliance #pwchat

— Brad Holland MD FACS (@DrBradHolland) June 22, 2017

T2 Waste & improperly managed workflow in clinical settings drive up costs #PWChat
— ShereeseM, MS/MBA (@ShereesePubHlth) June 22, 2017

 


Question 3

Q3: What are the biggest patient-specific contributors to increased healthcare costs? #PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) June 22, 2017

A3. Patients are living longer with more complicated diseases. #PWchat #PWchat
— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) June 22, 2017

A3: pts think that “doing something” labs, imaging, procedures is better care… #PWchat

— Alex M. McDonald, MD (@AlexMMTri) June 22, 2017

A3: …when in fact it’s just more expensive and often incessant or worse care. We. Wed a massive culture shift. #PWchat
— Alex M. McDonald, MD (@AlexMMTri) June 22, 2017

T3 Despite expanded healthcare, unnecessary ED visits are still driving up costs. Tx plan non-compliance also a driver #PWChat

— ShereeseM, MS/MBA (@ShereesePubHlth) June 22, 2017

More physicians need to #optout of 3rd party billing, especially 4 primary care #DPC #PWChat
— Molly Rutherford, MD (@vtdocmom) June 22, 2017

 


Question 4

Q4: What role have health insurance companies played in driving up #healthcare costs? #PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) June 22, 2017

A4. Insurance company bureaucracy costs almost $400 BILLION a year. How many MRIs is that? #PWchat
— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) June 22, 2017

Would we discourage someone from walking into bank and wanting more services who’s willing to payfor it? Why then do it in medicine? #PWChat

— Brad Holland MD FACS (@DrBradHolland) June 22, 2017

 


Question 5

Q5: What role has the gov’t played in driving up #healthcare costs? #PWChat
— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) June 22, 2017

A5. One example: #MeaningfulUse cost about $35 billion, for a program that failed. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) June 22, 2017

T5 Needless over-regulation & misplaced interest drives up costs. Many legislators are invested in initiatives they push. #PWchat
— ShereeseM, MS/MBA (@ShereesePubHlth) June 22, 2017

A5. The #ACA (#Obamacare) cost $1.76 trillion for a bill that is now likely to be repealed at further cost. #PWchat

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) June 22, 2017

A5: financial incentive for GME to create specialists…& sub specialists…& sub-sub specialists which cost the system more #PWChat
— Alex M. McDonald, MD (@AlexMMTri) June 22, 2017

 


Question 6

Q6: How have pharmaceutical costs contributed to increasing #healthcare costs? #PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) June 22, 2017

A6. Pharmaceutical costs have played a major factor in rising costs. Many meds are now unaffordable to many. #PWchat
— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) June 22, 2017

A6: Pharma spends more on marketing than research: https://t.co/NPHpWGLNEL #pwchat pic..com/3OFkBeVt3b

— Ben (@Bootleg_Doc) June 22, 2017

Q6: Routinely, patients with insurance pay $160-$180ish for Ciprodex when the cash price is $140. No one can explain this to me. #pwchat
— Brad Holland MD FACS (@DrBradHolland) June 22, 2017

 

Read the second half of this #PWChat here.