Cost of Treatment for Chronic Diseases Skyrocket to $1 Trillion as U.S. Healthcare Ranks below Other Developed Nations

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Despite increased spending on healthcare, the American healthcare system is not improving relative to other developed countries. The Centers for Integrative Medicine and Healing (CIMH) state that healthcare quality can be improved and costs reduced through the use of preventive medicine.

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Nobody wants to be sick, but most people have no idea how not to be sick.

America spends more on its healthcare system than does any other country in the world. In fact, per capita America spends 50% more on healthcare than other highly developed country. The majority of this spending can be attributed to treatment for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. America currently spends over $1 trillion annually on such treatments. By 2050, some predictions see this figure rising to $6 trillion unless major changes are made to the healthcare system. (1)

Despite this substantial investment in health, a recent study by the Commonwealth Fund ranks America last for the fourth consecutive time in a recurring study of eleven developed nations including the United Kingdom, France and Canada in the categories of access, efficiency and equity of healthcare. (2) Although Americans are increasingly choosing healthier lifestyles by consuming fewer calories which has begun to reduce the rate of obesity, (3) average American lifespans remain below other developed countries. (4) Centers for Integrative Medicine and Healing (CIMH), the nation’s most advanced integrative medicine clinic, asserts that America’s healthcare dilemma stems, not only from unhealthy lifestyles, but also from the methods that Western Medicine uses to treat chronic illnesses.

Per CIMH medical director Dr. Sztykowski, chronic illnesses in America are on the rise with 26 million adults and children now affected by diabetes and 79 million more at risk with prediabetes. This is despite over $245 billion of spending to combat the disease. Other chronic illnesses such as heart disease and stroke are also on the rise and America’s overreliance on prescription medicine alone has done little to stem the tide. (5) According to Dr. Sztykowski, a major issue with American healthcare is its overreliance on prescription medicines which provide temporary relief from the symptoms of chronic illnesses, but do not treat their true causes. By investing in wellness rather than in expensive and ineffective prescription treatments, America can dramatically reduce its overall medical costs while lowering the number of patients suffering from chronic illnesses.

CIMH advocates fostering optimal health through integrative medicine that combines Western diagnostics and medical technologies with traditional Oriental medicine to address the roots of chronic illnesses. By using preventive medicine, CIMH shifts the focus off of costly prescription medicines which treat symptoms of chronic illnesses to an approach which empowers individuals to take ownership of their health and addresses the underlying lifestyles which contribute to America’s chronic illness epidemic. CIMH states that not only has their approach proved successful with thousands of patients, but that it also is much more cost effective.

“Painkillers and analgesics can mask the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but they will not cure the arthritis. Insulin can manage sugar levels in a patient with Type II diabetes, but will not restore his liver and pancreas to normal function,” says Dr. Sztykowski. “Nobody wants to be sick, but most people have no idea how not to be sick.”

For more information about CIMH and integrative medicine, please visit

About CIMH:

Established in 1990, the Centers for Integrative Medicine and Healing (CIMH) is the nation’s leading and most advanced integrative medicine clinic. Integrative medicine combines centuries-old Oriental medicine modalities with current Western diagnostics. Located in Providence, Rhode Island, CIMH has a 97% success rate and thousands of satisfied patients. CIMH is headed by Medical Director Dr. Tad Sztykowski, and staffed with an elite team of doctor-specialists. The CIMH website hosts an abundance of useful information, including a Virtual Symptom IndicatorTM that allows users to communicate interactively with CIMH doctors and care managers about their areas of concern. Please refer to for further information.

1.    “Checkup Time Chronic Disease and Wellness in America: Measuring the Economic Burden in a Changing Nation,” Milken Institute, January 2014; accessed August 13, 2015.

2.    “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally;" The Commonwealth Fund; accessed August 11, 2015.

3.    “The U.S. Has Unique Ability To Cut Health Care Costs,” Todd Hixton, August 1, 2015; accessed August 11,2015.

4.    “Health Costs: How the U.S. Compares With Other Countries,” Jason Kane, October 22, 2012; accessed August 12, 2015.

5.    “American Diabetes Association Releases New Research Estimating Annual Cost of Diabetes at $245 Billion;” American Diabetes Association, March 6, 2013; accessed August 11, 2015.

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