Economists assume that anything purchased will be consumed (used), unless for purchased for investment, or integration into manufacturing/production. Of course, medical related expenditures are neither investments nor made for production. So, purchase preferences are the desires by each individual for the use of medical goods & service for personal application. However, nobody actually desires to need to use medical care. So, expenses such as insurance are made to gain the right to obtain care if needed. Additionally, as with purchases of ordinary goods & services, consumers presume the right to satisfaction.
Unlike ordinary goods & services, the medical care system has very structured medical goods & services delivery processes. Systems are paternalistic, directive, controlling of service and provider access, and application of treatment algorithms with many defined case management rules and limits to patient choice. But, recent changes in the economy, the manner of pharmaceutical product marketing, consumer awareness of high tech services, and increased offerings by Complementary & Alternative Medicine providers is pressuring traditional medicine in the U.S. to deliver medical care with greater sensitivity to patient opinions and preferences. Moreover, enhanced market access to medical information necessitates increased accountability to consumers. Make your primary physician more accountable to you!
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