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Infographic: Avoiding waste in healthcare costs

Forward-thinking insurance companies are sharing a new message when it comes to how consumers spend their money on healthcare: don’t just spend, spend smarter. Our goal as an insurance company is to help provide financial security by protecting consumers from the out-of-pocket costs of healthcare. But, covering the costs of healthcare is just a part of the puzzle. It’s every bit as important to help consumers make sure the money they do spend is money well-spent. Our new infographic highlights the ways that money can be wasted in healthcare and the solutions to the problem.

The cost of poor medical decisions

Oftentimes, consumers are at the mercy of their healthcare professionals when it comes to how they spend their money. This isn’t to say that doctors are out to get consumers – it’s just the opposite – but consumers are heavily reliant on the opinion of their medical professionals when they need treatment and this can come with drawbacks. Roughly one-third of healthcare costs in the U.S. are considered a waste, the bulk of which is tied to misdiagnosis.1 On top of that, 66 percent of diagnoses need to be better defined or refined.2 

Doctors aren’t always foolproof and a misdiagnosis can prove costly when you end up paying for not just one, but two treatments. It’s easy for healthcare bills to grow quickly and making sure to get the issue resolved the first time limits that growth.

This, of course, doesn’t take into account the additional cost to a person’s health. A misdiagnosis can have serious consequences for a consumer. Some studies have cited misdiagnosis as the third leading cause of death.3 The financial component of misdiagnosis is one thing, but the effect of misdiagnosis on a person’s well-being is especially concerning.

Finding solutions through insurance

The above may sound a bit gloomy, but fortunately some insurance carriers are providing solutions which can help lessen a few of the risks that come from misdiagnosis. Certain carriers now include a second opinion service as part of their policies to help provide guidance and offer a different perspective on a consumer’s treatment options. 

Here at Trustmark, we offer a second opinion service called Best Doctors® on our Critical Illness policies to make sure our policyholders are protecting both their finances and their health. Policyholders enjoy access to top physicians who can answer questions, help policyholders find a specialist and provide a second opinion on diagnosis or treatments. The end result is that we’re able to help bend the curve to lower costs for consumers and their employers while helping to provide better healthcare. Especially for consumers who may be skeptical about medical professionals, it can be reassuring to have an unbiased second opinion to help steer them in the right direction.

Without a doubt, doctors do the best they can. But, as the old adage goes, “two heads are always better than one”. When the stakes are so high, particularly when it comes to a person’s health and the importance of a correct diagnosis and treatment plan, it’s imperative to get it right. Carriers can help make sure that happens with second opinion services that help consumers not just spend their money on healthcare, but help them spend smarter.

1 Diagnostic errors: The next frontier for patient safety.
2 “The Value of a Second Opinion”. Mayo Clinic, 2017.
3 Medical error – the third leading cause of death in the US. BMN 2016.
 

Posted on February 21, 2018

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