Cremation and Other Costs

Posted on July 11, 2018 by Martin Oaks under Community, Cremation, Resources
1 Comment

Because Martin Oaks Cemetery and Crematory is in deathcare, we pay attention to national trends in our field. Since we are located in Lewisville, Texas, we particularly pay attention to the latest events in the Dallas, Texas, Denton, Texas and Fort Worth, Texas areas.

We would like to share some of those numbers — plus, a few other statistics of note that have passed over our desk recently.

First, the cremation figures.

The Cremation Association of North America, of which Martin Oaks is a proud member, has provided 2017 data which can only be described as attention getting.

Last year, the percentage of cremation vs other methods of final disposition reached an all-time high, 51.6 percent, an unthinkable number not that many years ago.

In 2002, for example, cremations accounted for just slightly higher than 28 percent.

The other eye-popping numbers that CANA released were the states that exceeded the 70 percent marker: nine, mostly in the west, topped that percent.

Forecasts for the future remain focused on more of the same: it’s safe to say that cremation is becoming the preferred method.

Some other numbers which relate to deathcare recently came to our attention. If you live in this country and haven’t been totally distracted or disinterested, health care costs continue to increase at dramatic leaps and bounds.

It is projected that they will increase in 2018 by over five percent — around 18 percent of the gross domestic product.  In 1960, it was five percent of the gross domestic product.

Alarmingly, about 5 percent of our population — the sickest five percent — are responsible for about 50 percent of those costs. Alarming because as we baby boomers age, those rates can be expected to rise.

The general increase in our population — and who truly knows what that number is — effects all of this as an unknown variable.

Martin Oaks certainly takes no political position in this debate. We are merely pointing out, not that it needs too much pointing out, that the ramifications of this issue are critical.

And it’s not just trips to the emergency room or the increase of diabetes or other serious diseases (ones that expensive to treat and difficult to treat) that are of concern from a cost viewpoint.

A whole constellation of service providers are connected to healthcare, and those services are also rising at a quick pace.

For example, in the last couple of weeks, we have read several accounts of how the price of airlifting victims to hospitals has jumped.

Air ambulances are essentially flying ambulances — they provide medical air transport which include medical supplies, equipment and trained medical personnel.

About a half a million people in the US require them each year.  Often this involves moving a patient from one hospital to another, but a significant number of their trips save lives.

They are critical for patients who are in the so called “golden hour” — that window of time when a patient, usually accident victims, have the best chance to recover from their injuries.  The difference between life and death can be on the line.

So what do these necessary and vital airlifts cost?  Estimates from different organizations vary, but the cost can run as high as $20,000 to $30,000.

The Government Accountability Office reports that these charges have doubled since 2010.

Given the role they play in saving lives, the use of air ambulances is not the question — the question is who pays the bill.

Patients are frequently surprised to discover that not all air ambulances trips are covered: to be covered, they need to be deemed medically necessary, a term open to interpretation.

What does the average citizen do about this?  Friends of ours in the insurance industry strongly recommend that people call their agents to explore their coverage for emergency situations that may require an air ambulance, as well as all of the coverage that they have for healthcare.

Chances are that, like most areas of medical care, charges for their important services will not decline.

Cost issues throughout the deathcare/healthcare industries will continue to demand close inspection.

IMAGES:

https://consumersunion.org/surprise-medical-bills/inadequate-regulation-for-emergency-air-ambulance-coverage

One thought on “Cremation and Other Costs

  1. Maintaining a healthy sense of humor..” You got that right! Beautiful web site. I look forward to reading your blog post’s. Keep up the good work…

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