The American Medical Association has issued a new warning that high-cost medical care can put patients at greater risk of developing chronic conditions.
In a report titled “A New Look at Medical Care Costs: A New Look,” the AMA says that more than half of all new cases of COVID-19 in the United States will occur among those with incomes between $60,000 and $100,000.
The AMA says the burden on healthcare spending is greatest among the poor, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections.
The report also cites the recent coronavirus pandemic, which saw the number of cases in the U.S. skyrocket from a handful to a few hundred, but that the number and severity of illnesses are still significantly underreported and poorly understood.
The association notes that while it was possible to find the number on the CDC website, it was difficult to get the exact number, as the organization had to use information from state data.
In addition to the rising number of COVS cases, the AMA notes that the health care system is also having to address the costs of administering medications that were not designed to treat coronaviruses, like the flu shot.
As a result, prescription drug costs are likely to rise in the future.
In 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that COVS spending increased by an estimated $7.6 billion in the first quarter of 2019 alone.
While the report did not specify how much of that increase was attributable to the pandemic and how much to higher costs, the report suggests that prescription drug spending will continue to rise as the pandemics surge.
“The fact that more people are infected and more people die means the cost of treating the pandemaker is going up, and that’s a direct result of our pandemic,” said Dr. Steven Kahl, president of the American Medical Students Association.
The AMA report says the cost to the healthcare system of treating COVID is a serious burden that will affect the quality of care for patients.
The study notes that many people may not receive the needed care because they are out of the system, lack adequate insurance coverage, or can’t afford the cost.
The report also says that patients may be able to pay less for medication, but will have to pay more for hospitalization.
The study also notes that health insurance companies are struggling to cover the cost as COVID patients are more likely to be uninsured.
In an email to Medscape Medical News, the American Academy of Pediatrics called on doctors and nurses to “be aware of the COVID epidemic and how it is affecting their patient care and the quality and cost of care they provide.”