What are the trends and consumerism in health care, especially in regards to what consumers want?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Consumerism is the attitude in which consumers constantly want more material goods.  They feel that more is better and they feel that material things are very important.  Consumerism is also a major trend in health care in the US today.  This helps to drive up the cost of health care.

Our health care payment system is set up so that care providers are paid for each service they provide, not for the overall quality of care.  This means that they have an incentive to provide more and more services.  This has helped to drive consumerism as Americans have come to expect more and more procedures and tests to ensure that they are getting what they see as the best possible care.

Consumerism in health care is also rising as people expect that they should have everything in their life be as good as possible.  They feel that they should have this and that they can get it through health care.  This increases the demand for elective procedures.  It also increases the demand for drugs that mitigate the results of “bad” lifestyle choices.

In short, Americans want to have it all and we have a health care payment system that encourages us to try to get it all.  This has led to consumerism in American health care.

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