1/14/13 - Healthcare Costs - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

KFVS12 VIEWPOINT with TIM INGRAM

1/14/13 - Healthcare Costs

Watch for ViewPoint segments on KFVS12 normally scheduled to air Mondays near the end of Heartland News at 6:00 & 10:00, and Tuesdays at 6:28 a.m. and near the end of Heartland News At Noon.

It's no secret that as a nation we are at a crossroads when it comes to Healthcare; how it's administered, how it's paid for, and how it's received.

A recent Post-Dispatch article made a little noise locally when it alleged that Cape hospitals charged more for services than hospitals in St. Louis. The article cited many costs, advertising one of them, as a reason. While KFVS12 was not mentioned in that article, you should know that both hospitals spend advertising dollars on this station. We want to be clear about that.

Rivalry Drives Up Medical Charges In Cape Girardeau
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 1/6/2013

But that in no way affects what I am about to say. And that is this: both Hospitals in Cape Girardeau, Missouri have invested a great amount of money in technology, equipment, and physician recruitment to provide a standard of care that is far above many peer operations across these United States. With the quality and convenience of care we have here, the specialties and the top notch medical personnel that work in this community every day, we must expect our costs to be higher than in a multi hospital metropolitan environment. Not astronomically higher, but somewhat. The convenience of not having to travel and stay in St. Louis or Memphis for that standard of care justifies higher costs.

If you find yourself like I did, in the ER on a Sunday night at 9:00 in need of a Pediatric Gastroenterologist, you can rest assured that there is one here that can take care of you. Folks, that's worth something. Both hospitals say that they are committed to providing quality health care at a competitive price. We'll keep an eye on that for you.

While a lot of folks focused on that article, many missed one in USA Today two days later. That article referenced a new report which shows that Americans live sicker and die younger than people in other wealthy countries, a problem that is getting worse every year. Why? "Americans consume more calories, are more likely to abuse drugs, less likely to wear seat belts and more likely to be in a traffic accident, and they are more likely to use a firearm in acts of violence."

Americans Die Younger Than Others In Rich Nations
USA Today - 1/10/2013

Folks, one of the biggest problems with the costs of American healthcare is that most Americans just aren't that interested doing what it takes to live a healthy life. We can blame the healthcare industry until we are blue in the face, but until we take charge of our own health, costs will continue to rise.

This is just one of many viewpoints. If you'd like to comment we want to hear from you. Click here to e-mail your response on-line right now, or write us at the address below. Either way, be sure to include your name and hometown in case we use your comment on the air.

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