Monday, December 29, 2008

Short term savings may cost more.

The Los Angeles Times (12/29, Kritz) reports, "Millions of consumers are weighing their medical costs and trying to see what expenses they can jettison to save some money," according to Cathy Tripp, a senior consultant with benefits consulting firm Watson Wyatt. In fact, a survey
conducted by Watson Wyatt showed that of 2,500 U.S. employees, 17 percent "had avoided a recommended doctor's visit this year to save costs." Meanwhile, healthcare experts "worry that short-term savings could lead to serious illness, and even deaths." Dana Goldman, head of
health economics at research firm Rand Corp., noted that "consumers are willing to take risks by not doing what they perceive to be small things," which "becomes a problem for society." She stressed the "deeper financial burden" placed "on a hospital or city" resulting from "an
increase in hospitalizations for chronic illnesses." J. James Rohack, president-elect of the American Medical Association urged consumers "to take steps to stay healthy" and find "help through private and public channels to help pay for healthcare costs."

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