In certain cases, excess weight causes harm to health. This raises, to name only a few, the likelihood of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and certain cancers and reduces the lifespan. Treatment of obesity and disorders related to obesity costs billions of dollars a year. The US spent over $190 billion on obesity-related health care costs which doubles previous estimates.
The enormity of this economic burden that excess weight is taking on health and well-being are beginning to raise global political consciousness. This implies that people, governments and international organizations need to do more to stem the growing tide of obesity.
Obesity in America
Currently, approximately one-third of the U.S. adult population and 17 percent of American adolescents are obese. Such Americans are much more likely to develop obesity-related illnesses that need medical treatment— such as type 2 diabetes, cardiac disease and kidney failure— than their healthy counterparts. In addition, one study released in the Journal of Health Economics in January found that an obese person’s average medical spending was $3,271, compared with a non-obese person’s $512. It raises an additional $190 billion a year in spending on health insurance due to obesity, or 20.6 a cent of overall health care spending in America. Getting extremely obese will raise the cost of health care by around 50 per cent.
Moreover, obesity-related health care costs are partially paid for by non-obese Americans. This is via taxes to fund Medicare and Medicaid, and higher insurance rates overall. For much the same way that non-smokers wind up paying for part for smoking tobacco-related healthcare expenses, or the insured pay for medical treatment for the uninsured, everybody shouldered the responsibility for essential health services. It means that if the number of obese citizens increases as expected, we should all expect taxes and premiums to skyrocket.
Obesity And Health Insurance: There are 3 ways obesity is affecting the entire healthcare system.
Obesity has numerous effects on the body. The increased pressure from fatty tissue accumulation causes pressure on internal organs which leads to conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Varicose veins
- Stress incontinence
- Venous insufficiency and poor circulation leaves patient more susceptible to infection, skin breakdown and dehiscence of surgical wounds
Safety of hospital staff
Healthcare staff are physically placed at risk. This is because of the extra pressure they face supporting the mobile obese patient. Most personnel follow a routine in which the patient’s location has to be adjusted every two to four hours. This is to prevent skin breakdown in the immobile patient. Depending on the patient’s weight, this will require additional workers. Unless there is no additional staff available, a member of staff can willingly jeopardize their own physical well-being when re-positioning a patient.
Financial impact on health system
Increased spend on pharmaceuticals: Obesity affects the pharmacokinetics of the body, which may lead to the patient needing more regular administration or higher doses of medication,as well as more regular nursing care and monitoring of vital signs. This has the ability to increase the prescription prices currently being invested by hospitals.
Because of the extra pressure produced by the accumulation of fatty tissue, the obese patient is more at risk of infection and dehiscence of surgical wounds.5 In some cases, requirements of Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) allow hospitals and other healthcare facilities not to be reimbursed for treatment of conditions such as surgical site infections. Obesity also causes reduced patient mobility which leads to an increased risk of falling. CMS does not reimburse a doctor for complications of patient dropping and skin breakdown incurred when the patient is being treated.
Cost of equipment
Hospitals would need to consider purchasing new bariatric equipment. This is to fit obese patients, including hospital beds, wheelchairs, bedside commodes, and walkers. The standard size bedside commode costs under $80 at a nationwide convenience store. The bariatric variant of the same commode would cost more than $170. According to The American Institute of Architects (2016), hospitals seeing increasing numbers of obese patients are looking to design experts to help build new gates and halls to accommodate their patients ‘ growing physical size.
Hospital workers may do their best to treat obese patients. However, complications may still be unavoidable because of the adverse effects of obesity on human anatomy. Obesity is not often discussed. This is because the majority of medical issues –directly to the patient–are worried with being disrespectful when coping with weight problems.
The several challenges that obesity brings to the health care system are incredibly necessary to bear in mind. In addition, as a society, we need to work towards reducing this problem through awareness and prevention. This is while working together to provide the present obese patient population with the highest quality, healthy and effective treatment possible.