Overwhelming the Healthcare System: Making Dollars and Sense out of Chronic Illness and its Future Financial Impact on the U.S.May 7, 2020 8:00 AM
“Normalcy”, “Normality”, “Normal”; No more. I’ve never heard the verbal and written abuse of a seemingly, well, normal, word as much as the six-letter description of what is supposed to be over the past three months. For those of us familiar with the U.S. healthcare system, we’ve discarded the word “normal” from our vocabulary long ago.
As many of us anxiously await the “end” of the most recent global pandemic one common phrase has stood out among healthcare industry experts as the most detrimental aspect of the recent outbreak: “overwhelming the healthcare system.” In short, overwhelming the healthcare system can be illustrated by imagining the hospitals in our areas completely overrun with so many COVID diagnoses that it affects the ability for facilities to manage and effectively treat regular hospital patients (not spurred by the pandemic) resulting in worsened health outcomes for all. Luckily, we will avoid a blanketed overwhelming scenario in the U.S. due to this pandemic, but that doesn’t relieve the concern of a looming explosion of chronic illness that is likely to take a similar path within the American population.