The United States is the richest country that has ever existed. It is, therefore, quite scandalous that it also is home to one of the worst healthcare systems of any developed country. Americans pay more for their healthcare than any citizens of any other country on Earth. At the same time, they often receive healthcare that is below the standards that define developed nations.
This not only poses a serious problem to those who are sick and in need of quality healthcare, but it also is a long-term threat to the fiscal stability of the government and the country itself. Healthcare costs have continued to spiral out of control. In one of the best examples of what many economists have referred to as the cost disease, healthcare expenditures per capita have increased by more than five times since the 1970s in real-dollar terms. This constant ballooning of healthcare costs is not sustainable. If costs continue to skyrocket, eventually, the nation will be faced with stark choices. These will include being forced to reduce the coverage of such programs as Medicare and Medicaid as well as forcing the general level of care that all Americans can receive ever downwards.
In the most extreme cases, healthcare costs that have spiraled outside the ability of governments to foot them have historically led to situations where hospitals will not even treat those in the midst of a medical emergency. This kind of outcome can be seen across much of Mexico and Latin America where failure to prepay in cash for medical services or demonstrate proof of insurance at the emergency room often amounts to a death sentence.
Drew Madden is one of the leading voices for reform of the U.S. medical system. In his more than two decades in the healthcare IT industry, Madden has developed a number of insights that have enabled him to help hospital networks and individual doctors to realize huge cost savings.
Through his company, Evergreen Healthcare Partners, Madden is doing more than perhaps anyone else in the country to combat the ever-escalating costs of healthcare.