What's New and Noteworthy

Health Care Spending Tops 1.4 Trillion Dollars in 2001

In the January/February 2003 issue of the journal "Health Affairs" an article appeared indicating that health care in the United States in the year 2001 cost 1.424 trillion dollars.

This information was widely publicized in the print media and reported in several daily newspapers.

The article and the report, which are done on an annual basis, examined all spending for health care both in the private and public sectors.

In 2001 the percentage growth rate of health care was 15.7% per year and the previous year it was 16.4%. It was also reported that health insurance premiums grew 10.5% in the same year.

All of this meant that health care spending averaged $5,035 per person in the United States. Prescription drug spending accounted for 140.6 billion dollars of the total.

Health care spending consumes 14.1% of the gross national product of the United States.

Comment - There is no other country in the world that even comes close to what the United States spends on health care. If this spending continues at its present rate, health care will one day be the largest industry in the country.

The problem is that health care, because it is so incredibly expensive, has become unavailable to a large percent of our population. As the price of health care increases even more people will be left behind and unable to afford insurance. As an employer, I am finding it increasingly difficult to pay for the full health care coverage for my employees.

What will we do when health care becomes so expensive that the majority of the population cannot afford to have insurance coverage?

The number of the uninsured is usually estimated to be in the neighborhood of 30-35% of our population

One of the problems is that in the United States there actually is no budget for health care expenditures. Until there is some means to decide exactly what we can afford to spend on health care as a country and live within that budget, this runaway spending can never be controlled.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has published a very important new book entitled The 2003 Body Almanac-Your Personal Guide to Bone and Joint Health at Any Age.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has never published a book for the retail consumer before. The Academy has published countless books for the education of orthopaedic surgeons, but has never published anything before for patients.

This publication is a new musculoskeletal self-help book that is said to demystify bone and joint health for the general public. It employs an easy to follow question and answer format. The guide defines dozens of common musculoskeletal conditions and for every condition listed the reader is provided with a wide range of helpful and concise information such as signs and symptoms, treatments, pain expectations, when it's time to call a doctor, follow up care, illustrated exercises, buying guides, anatomical diagrams, check list, safety and prevention tips.

This soft cover guide to bone and joint health is priced at $19.95. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is one of, if not the leading specialty education organization in the world today.

I am proud to be a member of this organization, which has done so much for the post-graduate education of countless M.D. orthopaedic surgeons.

Consumers can be very confident that the content of the guide has been researched and is very unbiased.

The goal was to produce a book that could be on the shelf in every household in America and used when any musculoskeletal concern arises.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is confident that nothing else similar to it exists in print at this time. A very great public service is being provided at an economical price.

I think this publication helps to prove what I have said and known all along, that as an orthopaedic surgeon member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic surgeons I am genuinely interested in the overall musculoskeletal health of my patients, not just in performing surgery.

It has taken over four years to develop the content and concept of the book.

The Body Almanac features the top one hundred musculoskeletal conditions seen at a doctor's office, and is divided into eight anatomical areas. The book is very reader friendly.

The book is really multi-generational in that it contains information on conditions affecting every age group not just aging baby boomers.

Baby boomers are called the sandwich generation, because not only are they experiencing new aches and pains of their own, but many of them are caring for children as well as elderly parents or other relatives.

The guide empowers readers to become involved in the entire family's bone and joint health.

We would advise everyone to take advantage of this fairly inexpensive resource, which will promote bone and joint health for the general population.

Click here for more information regarding this book.