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NEW MIRC PUBLICATION SPOTLIGHTS U.S. HEALTHCARE SCENARIOS FOR YEAR 2000

 MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Four scenarios for change in the U.S. healthcare system are analyzed in a book just published by Market Intelligence, "Healthcare Scenarios in the Year 2000: A Commmonsense Look at Four Alternatives To Get Us There."
 The study examines the current healthcare system and looks in-depth at four possibilities for the reform of healthcare financing during the 1990s: implementation of limited reforms to "fill holes" in the existing system; establishment of a national tax-supported system insuring everyone, as exists in Canada, the United Kingdom and most other developed countries; a "play or pay" system in which businesses cover their employees or pay into a public fund that insures the otherwise uninsured; and a plan requiring employers to contribute to new employee funds that in turn negotiate terms with healthcare providers.
 While the U.S. offers what is in many ways the world's best healthcare to many of its people, severe problems persist of unavailable care for much of the population at the same time costs spiral.
 An estimated 14 percent of the U.S. GNP is spent for healthcare, a proportion that has already risen from 10 percent in the mid-1980s and is projected to approach 20 percent by the year 2000, according to the study.
 The problems of efficiency and new technology faced by hospitals under the present system are illustrated by the fact that the San Francisco Bay Area has as many pieces of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment as all of Canada. In Canada, the MRI equipment is used constantly, while in the United States these extremely expensive diagnostic machines often lie idle for hours at the same time many hospitals owning them struggle for survival.
 The lack of available health care for some 37 million uninsured Americans means that illnesses preventable with inexpensive primary care remain untreated until they require the most expensive emergency care available. Indices of population health status, including life expectancy and infant mortality, are decidedly worse in the United States than in most other developed countries, although this country spends by far the most money on health care.
 The absence of universal insurance also means the cost of care provided the uninsured is largely passed along to the insured. While healthcare costs have been increasing by over 10 percent annually -- itself three times the rate of inflation -- insurance premiums have been rising by over 25 percent annually, according to the study.
 This book is particularly timely as the new Clinton Administration prepares the program of healthcare system reform it will propose to Congress.
 Pamela Geyer, the book's author, has written 11 Market Intelligence research reports on the healthcare industry, which she has been involved with for 20 years. Her studies have analyzed markets for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic equipment, surgical equipment, disposable equipment and supplies, gastrointestinal pharmaceuticals and medical waste management, as well as a general healthcare marketing yearbook and a guide on marketing to healthcare organizations. She runs her own company, MedSearch Unlimited, and holds both M.B.A. and M.A. degrees in health services administration.
 Market Intelligence is an international high-technology research firm specializing in healthcare markets and trends. All Market Intelligence reports are based on extensive interviews with marketing and technical experts from selected companies in each market segment. Primary research is validated by thorough analysis of available secondary research. Since 1982, Market Intelligence has emerged as one of the leading publishers of high-technology market research reports.
 -0- 2/24/93
 /CONTACT: Amy Arnell of Market Intelligence, 415-961-9000, or fax, 415-961-5042/


CO: Market Intelligence ST: California IN: SU:

SG-GT -- SJ001 -- 9851 02/24/93 11:00 EST
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Date:Feb 24, 1993
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