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As virtually every American knows, the cost of healthcare has indeed skyrocketed; it’s to the point where describing it as “out of control” is an accurate assessment. In fact, America spends trillions on healthcare each year. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the average hospital stay alone is over $10,000.
While some costs are inevitable, others can be minimized. This is because saving on health doesn’t need to involve downing supplements, drinking magic elixirs, or never seeing a doctor unless you absolutely have to. In fact, it doesn’t need to involve any drastic measures at all. It only needs to involve proactivity and practicality.
Why Prevention Matters
It can be easy to blow off an annual physical, particularly when nothing is wrong. But preventative medicine doesn’t just help doctors catch conditions before they become much more serious, it also helps protect your wallet. Visiting a chiropractor regularly, for example, can help you get ahead of any back issues that may arise, and beginning treatment options for Sciatica is a wise choice before the condition becomes too severe to manage in a cost effective manner.
Extinguishing the Light
Smoking isn’t good for the lungs or the bank account. The American Lung Association states that, in 2004, the average adult smoker cost $4,260 in extra healthcare expenses. Collectively, this amounted to $193 billion. Smoking drives up insurance rates, and is the foundation of many prevalent diseases. People who smoke will almost always be subject to more medical tests, hospital stays, and doctor’s visits than those who refuse to light up.
Get Up and Get Moving
As most everyone knows, the United States is a heavy nation: according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 70 percent of adults over the age of 20 are considered overweight; 35 percent are considered obese. Some of this has to do with food consumption: there is too much of a focus on large, starch and fat-filled portions and not enough focus on fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Diet isn’t the only problem; lack of exercise is, as well. Per CBS, 80 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of exercise at 2.5 hours per week. This tendency to be sedentary not only leads to extra fat storage, but also all kinds of diseases. Hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder issues, cancer, and arthritis are merely a few.
Why Practicality Matters Too
Proactivity is an important way to reduce healthcare costs, but it also requires a dose of practicality. Visiting an urgent care instead of the emergency room, for instance, can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Of course, for medical emergencies that are indeed true emergencies a horrible car accident, a heart attack, or bleeding profusely cost shouldn’t be an issue and an ER must be located. But, for many other, less severe ailments including broken bones, minor lacerations, and torn rotator cuffs stopping at urgent care will not only save you loads of money, but loads of time as well.
Shopping around is another practical measure that can save you a great amount. This is essential for people who don’t have medical insurance (or don’t have very good insurance), but it can also benefit those with insurance that’s decent. This is because the cost of certain procedures can drastically vary from hospital to hospital and facility to facility. A breast MRI, for instance, may be $2,000 at one location, but only 800 at another.
This article was contributed on behalf of Gulf Coast Spine Care, your number one choice when looking for help with understanding degenerative disc disease. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!