Access to Health Care, Do You Care?

The pressure on our sprawling healthcare system in the U.S. has never been greater. There’s an urgent need to expand testing and treatment for COVID-19 to all residents who need it, regardless of health insurance status. Massive federal cash influxes have sought to shore up hospitals sagging under the weight of the coronavirus burden and the related cessation of elective surgery and regular medical care.1?

Long before this crisis, the U.S. led other industrialized nations in high spending on healthcare and getting a low bang for the buck in terms of health outcomes and the percentage of the population served. Life expectancy in the U.S., for example, is 78.8 years, while it ranges from 80.7 to 83.9 in 10 other high-income countries, according to an influential study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). And only 90% of the population in the U.S. has health insurance, compared to 99% to 100% of the population in the other industrialized countries examined.2?

KEY TAKEAWAYS
COVID-19 has increased pressure on our highly complex and expensive healthcare system, making it more urgent to lower costs.
One reason for high costs is administrative waste. Providers face a huge array of usage and billing requirements from multiple payers, which makes it necessary to hire costly administrative help for billing and reimbursements.
Americans pay almost four times as much for pharmaceutical drugs as citizens of other developed countries.
Hospitals, doctors, and nurses all charge more in the U.S. than in other countries, with hospital costs increasing much faster than professional salaries.
In other countries, prices for drugs and healthcare are at least partially controlled by the government. In the U.S. prices depend on market forces.
Costly Healthcare Hurts Everyone
The high cost of healthcare affects everyone, sick or well. It has depressed individual spending power for the past few decades. Salaries for American workers have risen, but net pay has stayed the same because of increasing charges for health insurance.3? Today, tightening up on overspending is urgent to help stretch medical and hospital resources to control COVID-19.

Here are six underlying reasons for the high cost of healthcare in the U.S.

1. Multiple Systems Create Waste
“Administrative” costs are frequently cited as a cause for excess medical spending. The U.S. spends about 8% of its healthcare dollar on administrative costs, compared to 1% to 3% in the 10 other countries the JAMA study looked at.

The U.S. healthcare system is extremely complex, with separate rules, funding, enrollment dates, and out-of-pocket costs for employer-based insurance, private insurance from healthcare.gov, Medicaid, and Medicare, in all its many pieces. In each of these sectors consumers must choose among several tiers of coverage, high deductible plans, managed care plans (HMOs and PPOs) and fee-for-service systems. These plans may or may not include pharmaceutical drug insurance which has its own tiers of coverage, deductibles, and copays or coinsurance.

For providers, this means dealing with myriad regulations about usage, coding, and billing. And, in fact, these activities make up the largest share of administrative costs.4?

2. Drug Costs Are Rising
On average, Americans shell out almost four times as much for pharmaceutical drugs as citizens of other industrialized countries pay. High drug prices are the single biggest area of overspending in the U.S. compared to Europe, where drug prices are government regulated, often based on the clinical benefit of the medication. Take a look at these sonus complete reviews for cheaper real medicines to treat hearing conditions.

With little regulation of drug prices, the U.S. spends an average of $1,443 per person, compared to $749, on average, spent by the other prosperous countries studied. In the U.S. private insurers can negotiate drug prices with manufacturers, often through the services of pharmacy benefit managers. However, Medicare, which pays for a hefty percentage of the national drug costs, is not permitted to negotiate prices with manufacturers.

3. Doctors (and Nurses) Are Paid More
The average U.S. family doctor earns $218,173 a year, and specialists make $316,000—way above the the average in other industrialized countries. American nurses make considerably more than elsewhere, too. The average salary for a U.S. nurse is about $74,250, compared to $58,041 in Switzerland and $60,253 in the Netherlands.6? 7?

U.S. managed care plans (HMOs and PPOs) may succeed in lowering healthcare costs by requiring prior authorization for seeing a high-priced specialist. Use of a nurse practitioner instead of a family doctor can also save money.

#MozCamp Asia 2011 dan Kuala Lumpur – Day 3

Postingan ini adalah lanjutan dari sini dan sini.

Hari kedua dimulai dengan sesi bersama di Junior Ballroom – Intercontinental Hotel – Kuala Lumpur, mendengarkan Jay Sullivan dan Dan Mills tentang State of the Product. Jay Sullivan bercerita bahwa yang dicari oleh para user adalah choice to use and choose. Sedangkan para developer adalah freedom to build, and to hack. Dan Mills menjelaskan tentang: 1) Firefox has to rock, 2) Be mobile!, dan 3) Enable the user-centered web.

Dan Mills. Photo by Rara

Setelah itu, saya segera ke ruang Orchird & Dahlia untuk mengikuti sesi PR / Communications Training for Mozilla Communication Reps oleh Shannon Prior dari Skills & Community. Sesi ini adalah pengenalan Mozilla PR dan program Mozilla Communication Reps. Lalu diskusi-diskusi tentang bagaimana bekerja dengan efektif dan menyampaikan pesan-pesan tentang misi Mozilla ke seluruh dunia.

Shannon Prior. Photo by Rara.

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#MozCamp Asia 2011 dan Kuala Lumpur – Day 2

Postingan ini adalah lanjutan dari sini.

Acara MozCamp Asia 2011 dibuka dengan berkumpul bersama di Ballroom, dibuka oleh Gen Kanai, lalu dilanjutkan dengan Opening Speech oleh Chairperson Mozilla Foundation, Mitchell Baker.

Gen Kanai welcomes Mozillians at MozCamp Asia 2011. Photo by Rara.

Opening speech dari Mitchell Baker sangat menyemangati para mozillians yang hadir. Mitchell berbagi tentang:
– apa itu mozilla, dan tujuan utama dari mozilla.
– sedikit sejarah tentang yang telah dilakukan oleh mozilla selama ini untuk mencapai tujuan utama tersebut
– apa saja yang telah dikerjakan
– apa yang akan harus kita lakukan bersama-sama untuk memenuhi tujuan utama.
Ingin tahu lebih banyak, bisa intip postingan Mitchell Baker di: Mozilla in the New Era: Long-ish Video Description From MozCamp Asia

Mitchell Baker, Chairperson of Mozilla Foundation. Photo by Rara.

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#MozCamp2011 Asia dan Kuala Lumpur – Day 1

Bulan November kemarin saya sempat menyambangi Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia, demi mengikuti acara akbar Mozilla Camp Asia 2011. Mozilla Camp Asia 2011 ini adalah acara invitation-only bagi para kontributor aktif Mozilla di Asia. Dan ini adalah Mozilla Camp yang pertama kali diselenggarakan di Asia, dengan tema “Many Voices One Mozilla”.

Many Voices One Mozilla

Acara Mozilla Camp Asia tersebut diselenggarakan dari tanggal 19 – 20 November 2011, di Hotel Intercontinental, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia. Diikuti oleh kurang lebih 150 peserta dari berbagai negara, khususnya negara-negara di Asia. Para paid staff dari Mozilla Foundation HQ (headquarter) juga pada berdatangan. Termasuk Chairperson Mozilla Foundation, Mitchell Baker! Yay! Dan ya, tentunya Gen Kanai juga ada!

Mozilla Indonesia di Mozilla Asia Camp 2011. Photo by Viking Karwur.

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Goodbye, Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs meninggal. Tidak, ini bukan berita hoax. Dunia telah kehilangan seorang sosok yang mengagumkam. Seperti saya tulis di twitter saya tadi pagi, “It’s hard to find a genius like him in this world.“.

Steve Jobs meninggal akibat kanker pankreas yang telah dialaminya sejak tahun 2004. Ia telah menjalani transplantasi hati pada tahun 2009. Dan seakan mengetahui dirinya tidak lama lagi di dunia ini, pada bulan Agustus 2011 kemarin, Steve Jobs mundur dari CEO dan posisinya digantikan oleh Tim Cook, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Apple.

Saya punya satu macbook putih (he bought it in 2008, and I started to use it on 2009), dan sebuah iPod touch 4th gen (after upgrade it from 3rd gen a few months ago). Sampai sekarang saya masih terkagum-kagum dengan barang-barang berlogo apel digigit ini.

Goodbye, Steve Jobs. Rest in peace.

Sunset in Cambodia

Sunset memang selalu menjadi sesuatu yang seksi untuk fotografi. Di akhir hari yang melelahkan ketika melaksanakan tugas sebagai sukarelawan dalam tim medis di sebuah medical trip, pemandangan ini muncul dengan tidak disangka-sangka di pedalaman propinsi Kampong Cham – Cambodia.

Selamat menikmati :)

Photographed at Kampong Cham Province, district Ponhea Kraek, commune Kak, village Ponley, in Cambodia.

Valentine’s Day

valentine's day, valentine, feb 14
Hari Valentine (Valentine’s Day) jatuh pada setiap tanggal 14 Februari. Ada yang merayakannya, ada yang tidak merayakannya. Ada yang pro, ada yang kontra. Semua tentu punya alasan. Tetapi itu semua kembali kepada diri masing-masing. Tidak usah ikut-ikutan apa kata orang lain, tidak usah terpengaruh dengan pikiran orang lain.

Di Jepang, hari Valentine sudah muncul berkat marketing besar-besaran, sebagai hari di mana para wanita memberi para pria yang mereka senangi permen cokelat. Namun hal ini tidaklah dilakukan secara sukarela melainkan menjadi sebuah kewajiban, terutama bagi mereka yang bekerja di kantor-kantor. Mereka memberi cokelat kepada para teman kerja pria mereka, kadangkala dengan biaya besar. Cokelat ini disebut sebagai Giri-choko, dari kata giri (kewajiban) dan choco (cokelat). Lalu berkat usaha marketing lebih lanjut, sebuah hari balasan, disebut “Hari Putih”(White Day) muncul. Pada hari ini (14 Maret), pria yang sudah mendapat cokelat pada hari Valentine diharapkan memberi sesuatu kembali, sebagai jawaban kepada para wanitia.

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Gerhana Matahari

Hari ini, tanggal 15 Januari 2010, katanya ada Gerhana Matahari. Kalau ga salah, kejadiannya sebelum jam 4 sore tadi. Saya juga baru nyadar waktu dengar di radio, lagi ribut-ribut mengeluh karena ga bisa lihat gerhana. Alasannya? Cuaca agak mendung hehehe. Sebenarnya kemarin sih udah ngobrol-ngobrol sama salah satu staff di rumah sakit tentang gerhana matahari ini, trus kelupaan, sampai akhirnya dengar ribut-ribut di radio tadi :D
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New Year’s Reflections

Looking back on the months gone by,
As a new year starts and an old one ends,
We contemplate what brought us joy,
And we think of our loved ones and our friends.

Recalling all the happy times,
Remembering how they enriched our lives,
We reflect upon who really counts,
As the fresh and bright new year arrives.

And when I ponder those who do,
I immediately think of you.

Thanks for being one of the reasons
I’ll have a Happy New Year!