Identifying The Major Problems of US Healthcare System

The US is the top economy in the world. Do you know, the average national cost for a family health insurance has reached $1,152 a month. Additionally, it also considers whether the healthcare services are sufficient for such a large population. How much cost the government is bearing to provide the best medical care to patients. Do you know that America is the most expensive country in providing medical services to patients? On the contrary, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Australia, and the United Kingdom are the countries that are providing the best medical services to their clients at a much-reduced cost than the US. Although the US is using the latest technology and qualified doctors still their healthcare system is not out of problems. Let’s identify the major problems of the US healthcare system.

Medical Care is Expensive

We often hear this thing that in America medicine is very expensive. You must be wondering why the top economy of the world is unable to control the high cost of medical services. For this, we have analyzed the data and found out that the US spends the highest on pharmaceuticals. Therefore, the operational cost is high. They charge high prices to compensate for this cost. Doctors also earn more money in the USA than in any other profession. You must be wondering that although the US is spending the highest in healthcare, what are the reasons that are pulling down the US from the list of countries that are providing the best healthcare services. For this, first, we must analyze the factors that are making healthcare services expensive in the US. Because they are using state-of-the-art technology, so the physicians charged more for their practices. Due to digitalization, physicians hire IT resources to manage electronic health records and electronic medical records. The transformation of systems from the old one is also expensive. Although, many government-run programs have switched the paper records to operational costs. The cost is enhanced because proper medical billing services and medical coding services are obtained from the old system. For this reason, many companies in the US are providing a range of specialized services like billing services, coding services, transcription services and medical translation services.

Cost of Technology

Physicians have opted to install new computers with EHR solutions. To maintain the software, they must pay subscription charges on a monthly basis or for a one-time subscription fee to software vendors. To induct the system in medical and train the people how to use them, you must take the assistance of IT staff. It also increases the operational cost. Do you know that the healthcare system of the US is different from other countries? In Canada, you just need to submit the claim to one party but in the case of the US, multiple companies are dealing with healthcare reimbursements. You must submit your medical claims with all the credentials to them. If they don’t find your credential services authentic. They will reject it with relevant objections. To provide better health care services to their patients. The US physicians must hire subject matter experts and highly skilled that will cost them high.

Cost of Diagnostic Procedures

Diagnostic procedures are also very high in the U.S. This is because if physicians diagnose the patient incorrectly, which leads to the patient using them. Therefore, doctors ask for more diagnostic tests in the US as compared to other countries. Thus, it leads to more cost. People who have medical insurance can save a lot of money and the people who have not taken insurance are not eligible to negotiate for it. They must pay their charges from their pocket. According to one survey conducted in the US, hospitals are treating uninsured patients more than insured patients. It is one of the biggest problems in the US healthcare system than in any other country.

The Market of Healthcare Vendors

As a consumer in the healthcare market, you don’t need to go to the best seller to buy the medical products. This is because the government and consumers don’t negotiate the price with the vendor. Therefore, vendors have a free hand and there is no strict price control entity for them. This is one of the foremost reasons for the high cost of the US healthcare system. You will be amazed to know that medical bankruptcy is common in the US and approximately 650,000 Americans become bankrupt because they are unable to bear the high medical expenses. On the other hand insurance companies also do not help patients to pay less because they want funds to get reimbursed from the government and employer. The government of the United States is spending a large amount of money on the entire healthcare system of the entire country.

The High Cost of Medicines

Although the prices of medicines are rising throughout the world, American people are paying more for the medicines as compared to other regions. The government of the United States is not taking any action to control the price of prescription drugs. This is because there is no competition among the medicine vendors in the country. So the consumers must pay higher for prescribed medicines. This creates a problem for those people who must pay from their pockets. According to the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, patients in the USA are paying 3 times more as compared to other countries. Therefore, each American out of 10 Americans can’t afford prescribed medicines. For this reason, many people that are not earning well ask their doctors to prescribe them medicines that are less expensive and guide them to the substitute treatment which is not so effective. There is no use of such substitution because still, the patients must visit the doctors again and again for treatment of their ailment. This again results in high cost.

The Medical System is not Transparent

The other major problem in US healthcare is the lack of transparency. This lack of transparency is related to cost and it is prevalent in the healthcare system. It is because of coding and it is one of the fraudulent acts reported. The upcoding system is very difficult to trace. If a person who is an insurance policyholder wants to find out the medical procedure he will not be able to find an appropriate answer. The insurance companies have their money-making business. Therefore, they want to get a good percentage from the employers, however, they follow strict policy when they need to pay insurance policyholders. This sounds good for the insurance business, however, it is bad for patients that depend on the insurance system.

Expensive Medical Equipment

The medical equipment in the US is also very expensive. Moreover, their prices are rising every year. The government of the US encourages the use of technology however, they are not making their prices down. The expensive medical equipment is also enhancing the price of medical care. No doubt the quality of healthcare is outstanding in the US but their high rates are creating a problem for patients. The advanced healthcare systems usually are controlled by the government around the world and the government tries to control their prices.

Medical Errors that can be Avoided

Johns Hopkins conducted medical research regarding mortality rates for eight years. He concluded that due to medical errors, 250,000 people die every year. This is the third most common reason for deaths after a heart attack and cancer in the US and accounts for 10% of US citizens.

The Shortage of Physicians and Nursing

The shortage of physicians and nursing is a supply-demand issue. According to the data published by the Association of American Medical Colleges AAMC stated that the US will suffer from the shortage of primary and specialty care physicians by 2033 as the demand for medical care is enhancing day by day.

According to AAMC and CEO David J.Skorton

“This annual analysis continues to show that our country will face a significant shortage of physicians in the coming years. The gap between the country’s increasing health care demands and the supply of doctors to respond adequately has become more evident as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenge of having enough doctors to serve our communities will get even worse as the nation’s population continues to grow and age.”

The AAMC findings also suggest that every two physicians from five will reach the age of retirement in the next 10 years. It will also cause supply and demand issues.

The Opioid Crisis

Back in 1990, the US experienced increased rates of opioid abuse and opioid-related deaths. This issue has become so prevalent in the country that many health organizations have given it the name of Opioid Epidemic.

The Opioid crisis is related to the use of prescribed opioids like oxycodone. Moreover, it is also related to non-prescribed opioids like fentanyl and heroin. In the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies suggested more use of prescribed medicines to increase the sales of their medicines by declaring the fact that these are not harmful and addictive for the patients.

The US population starts relying on prescription opioids to get relief from pain however they start experiencing their side effects. The pharmaceutical companies decide not to reveal these side effects to the doctors. This resulted in high dosage and death rates in the US. The other effect of misuse of the prescribed drug is that where these drugs do not produce desired results, the people are inclined to other opioids for example fentanyl and heroin that results in a high number of deaths.

Wrapping Up

Despite all these problems, the healthcare system in the U.S is adopting modern technology to provide state-of-the-art medical care services to their patients. The government agencies, The Department of Health and Human Services HHS, and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention CDS are working together to mitigate the problems of the US healthcare system and to provide the best healthcare facilities to their people. There is a high need to work on lowering the expenses of medical facilities though.

How COVID-19 Has Impacted The Translation World

Whether it is a developed country or an under-developed country, the entire world is badly hit by COVID-19. It is such a lethal pandemic that can damage a lung of a person in no time and results in death. To control the increasing death rate in the world, the governments of different countries announced lock-downs. People remained confined to their homes. The global companies asked their employees to work from home. Similarly, schools and universities got closed, and they started educating students through online classes. In short, this pandemic has altogether changed the lifestyle that we had before the pandemic. Social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks have become a norm of life. The COVID-19 has affected every field of life, and the translation world is no exception to it. The working class and students have adopted the ways of how to work and study remotely to mitigate some challenges of the pandemic.

How Pandemic Has Affected Translators

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. This pandemic has affected every field of life. Do you want to know how it has affected the translation industry? A survey was conducted by a French professional association, SFT, at the start of the pandemic. According to the survey results, 57% of translators believed that this pandemic would have a negative impact on their work. Out of 57%, 48% of people want to join a part-time job. 23% of translators want themselves to be trained again. Moreover, 15% of translators want to take a break from their work, while 7% want to leave the job of translator permanently. These statistics are enough to show how badly the translation industry is impacted by this pandemic. This pandemic has made the overall economic situation of the world very unpredictable. Many companies laid off their employees to come out of the loss that occurred to them because of the pandemic. This situation has created uncertainty in the market and many people are afraid of losing their jobs or of changing their profession. The best way to face the unprecedented time is to adapt to digital technology. The result of this survey is of a small group of French translators. Therefore, to get a more valid result, you must go for a large-scale survey so that you can validate or contradict these findings.

Another research was conducted by the CSA research institute on freelance translators. They received responses from 1,174 translators from around 97 countries. This came up with very devastating results. Some of the main challenges are declining workload, few job opportunities, and a decrease in income. Additionally, 65% of the people who participated in the survey are of the view that COVID-19 has changed the market dynamics for a time being. 25% are of the view that they have to change the market dynamics for good. Moreover, 10% are of the view that the market has not changed at all. The further findings of the survey suggest that demand for translation services is at a peak in some fields, and it is decreased in other fields. 

Translators Working Remotely

Although translators already work remotely. They keep in contact with companies and agencies from their home. So COVID-19 when making everyone work from home did not affect the translators because they already know how to work remotely.

Old Generation is not Comfortable with Technology

Everyone cannot use digital technology with ease. Especially, the old generation finds great difficulty in using digital platforms like Zoom. So for this reason, they are taking the assistance of IT training so that they can work efficiently and avoid any barrier in their work. Unlike other businesses, the work of translators is also affected by the pandemic, and they are afraid of a decline in their income. They are left with only health-related documents for translation.

Pandemic Has also Affected Interpreters

Just like translators, interpreters are also affected by COVID-19. This is because the pandemic resulted in the shutdown of important events, conventions, and conferences. Therefore, the interpreters are badly affected and left with very little income. The worst part is that all the sectors in which they can work like tourism and business are also closed. In this situation, the interpreters can come up with new working styles according to the demand of the markets. This resulted in the emergence of remote interpreting. The people are requesting interpretation in a short span, like an hour before. Remote interpretation faces many challenges like cutting microphones and poor internet connection. Moreover, the availability of a quiet and soundproofed room and the use of proper equipment is very important. Therefore, many interpreters use Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Webex for interpreting work. These tools are very handy to use. Still, the use of these interpreting platforms is not without problems because they interpret services while disturbing the other participants. Do you know that Microsoft Teams, Webex, and Zoom only focus on oral communication and seem friendly? But for an interpreter, the audio noise and decrease in their income do not make it a viable option. To get back to the normal way of life, many LSPs are encouraging their employees to work from home and asking them to use videoconferencing and online interpretation. They are also following a strict travel policy because due to COVID-19, many events will take place using virtual and hybrid scenarios.

COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Language

Before the spread of the pandemic, the media never thought of using headlines that use medical terminologies like epidemiology and virology. We as a layman also did not hear such terms that were only used in laboratories and medical centers. The research conducted by stated that the most searched words in the U.S between March and May 2020 are ventilator, quarantining, SARS, hydroxy and asymptomatic. Some other terms that become common in public conversation are viral shedding, community spread, PPE, and N95. People start using technical terms so much in their conversation that the International Association of translators of medicine and related sciences with the coordination of Cosnautas comes up with the COVID-19 English-Spanish glossary that contains 5000 terms related to the pandemic.

Role of Medical Translation

To combat the COVID-19, many laboratories, and researchers from countries around the world worked tirelessly to find its cure. This resulted in shutting down existing clinical trials and launching new clinical trials. These clinical trials include testing and identifying new effective drugs so that they can cure this lethal disease. These trials are conducted in different languages, so the requirement to translate them arises. As the virus was spreading very fast, so translators must provide the translation in a fast turnaround time so that effective treatment can be provided to the masses. In that era, sharing and collecting scientific information was a need of time. A pool of information is gathered by public and private organizations to make a collective effort to get insights into this virus, to know how the virus works, and identify new treatments such as a vaccine. During that time, many companies kept their operations normal by keeping their employees safe. For this, they came up with internal SOPS and made contingency plans, including protocols. To deal with the global workforce, they need to translate the notifications and documents related to work from home policies and how to follow COVID-19 protocols.

The use of sanitizers and protective equipment is also at its peak during the pandemic. This resulted in the translation of commercial purchases and import agreements. Moreover, the technical translation of how to use health care equipment and products. No doubt, it is essential to get precise and accurate translation in normal circumstances. But due to uncertainty, it is more important to provide an affluent translation service to medical and pharmacological fields and health professionals. In this way, they can provide information to the public about symptoms and protective measures against this disease. Medical translation has played an important part here. Medical sciences progressed more quickly in 2020 and 2021 so the need for medical translation rises. Medical translation helped in sharing information regarding COVID-19. It played a role of a bridge between medical agencies and the public. By taking the assistance of medical translators that are experts in the medical field helped in combating the virus.

COVID-19 Has Become a Great Challenge to Translation Companies

Do you know that Google Translate can only translate 100 languages? Here the question arises. What about the people that speak other languages and getting vulnerable to the disease. We have seen many English-speaking people browsing the internet. They must come across many pubic-related messages regarding COVID-19, from hand washing to social distancing. Although English is a universal language, we cannot ignore the other languages. We cannot provide information only in English about Pandemic. For this, we must translate it into multiple languages according to cultural and regional intricacies to save humanity from this lethal disease.

Dire Need of Translation Services

Every industry is impacted by this pandemic. The translation industry is playing an important role in helping the public in these unprecedented times. The entire world is dealing with the crises altogether with the help of the medical and translation industry. Do you know that COVID-19 information is translated into more than 500 languages, so that information can be disseminated in multiple languages? This translation includes fact sheets from the World Health Organization WHO and contains 400 videos that are translated into 150 languages. This has increased the demand for human translators that can provide precise and accurate translation services than machine translations. During these challenging times, people are in dire need of accurate translations in the language that they understand. This is because they want to know what the situation of the pandemic is. Thus, human translators played a pivotal role in communicating important information to the masses.

A Shift in Translation Needs

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, one of the biggest changes the translation industries have gone through is a shift in translation needs. For example, the tourism and hospitality industry suffered a lot because of lock-downs, so they don’t require translation services. Thus, it resulted in the demand for other types of translation.

  • Medical Translation:
    The most important translation required during a pandemic is medical translation. Lots of research is being done on the pandemic so the demand for medical articles, publications, and protocols to follow in the pandemic in the language that customers understand is on the peak. Here, medical translation services helps you to understand the information.
  • Marketing and E-commerce Translation:
    The people are confined to their homes because of lock-down. Therefore, many companies decided to shift their business from a brick-and-mortar store to an online one. Thus, to translate the companies, websites, and their marketing material, translation services are required.
  • Document Translation:
    The translation of documents in multiple languages is very important. At present, there is a high demand for medical document translation from the announcements from WHO, advisors and government bulletins, and different contracts and business agreements.
  • E-Learning:
    Schools and universities are closed, so many schools and universities take the assistance of e-learning. So the demand for translation services has increased in this field.

Future of the Translation Industry

Apart from the medical field, the translation industry is at the forefront to help the masses combat this pandemic. They are making some alterations so that they keep on working efficiently in these times.

  • Unlike many global companies, translation companies will enhance the use of virtual meetings with clients, vendors, and employees.
  • Many translation companies will keep working remotely.
  • They will not travel to attend conferences and will not visit clients.
  • The translation companies will adjust their marketing and sales strategies according to the current market situation.
  • They will keep their focus on large remote multilingual events.

Wrapping Up

Now the world is passing through a post-pandemic phase. Many developed countries have made vaccines, and they are selling these vaccines to developing countries to save the life of humanity. To understand how the vaccine will work and how to use it, many countries are taking assistance from medical translation services. In short, Covid-19 has impacted the translation world, but it played an important role in educating and combating the pandemic.