1. Society’s role in ensuring access to basic health care
- Provision of adequate health care services
- Affordable care plans
2. Government or market to reshape the health care system
- Governments monitoring the health care system
- Market is essential for reshaping to occur
3. Lessons from existing health care system
- Standardized billing system
- Improving physician’s pay package
- Amalgamation of different strategies
4. Hospital Emergency Departments and their implications
- Minimal number of primary care givers
- Increased costs
- Medically underserved not able to pay for services
5. Shift from inpatient to Ambulatory services
- Emergence of new technologies
- Chronic diseases (Diabetes)
6. Implications of Ambulatory Services
- High profit margins
- Restructuring of hospitals’ operations
- Good care to customers
- Improved service provision
This paper focuses on the trend of the US health care system while factoring the introduction of Ambulatory services in regards to the effect it will have on inpatient services. The paper explores the role of the society in relation to what they can do to ensure that all members of the society get basic access to basic health care. Provision of adequate health care system stands out as one of the major points, as it will ensure the availability of enough primary care givers to offer services to patients. The paper also examines the government’s role in reshaping the Health Care system, which requires both the government and the market participation. The paper also observes lessons that can be learnt from existing health care system of the developed countries and points out adoption of the standardized billing system as a major point. Lastly, the paper explores the adoption of Ambulatory system by hospitals and the implications it has on the customer and hospitals.
Society’s Obligation to Ensure Access to a Basic Level of Healthcare System
The US society is charged with two core responsibilities to ensure people gain access to the basic level of health care. Firstly, the society should provide adequate levels of healthcare. Through the provision of an adequate level of health care system, all people will have access to health facilities, as distance will not be a factor. In addition, the society will ensure that enough personnel have being employed to respond to the unpredicted increase in the number of people needing healthcare. The facilities should also be well equipped to prevent instances where patients are supposed to be transferred from one facility to another to receive a specific type of healthcare.
Secondly, the society should form affordable care plans for poor workers, chronic disease patients, and residents who are uninsured. These care plans will ensure that all individuals gain access to basic healthcare as the care plans will take money from the poor workers according to their potential, which will not be strenuous to those who believe in the beauty of basic healthcare. McCarthy & Schafermeyer (2007) point out that the affordable healthcare plan will also ensure that people get basic healthcare through incorporating inequities in burdens and costs. It should be noted in this context that the market plays a significant role in determining the allocation of care, which reflects providers’ interest. Thus, with this in mind, those providing affordable care plans can opt to charge different costs when they visit different locations of a country, which will contribute significantly in ensuring that all individuals receive basic healthcare.
As such, Schulte (2009) indicates that the provision of adequate healthcare and formation of affordable care plans ensures that access to basic level of health care system is achieved through reduction of costs to be paid for the health care system.
Should Government Take A More Aggressive Role In Reshaping The Health Care System Or Should the Economy be Allowed to Continue Exerting Market-Driven Reforms?
Both government and the economy should participate in instilling reforms in the health care system. The government on its part should contribute to reforms in the health care system through monitoring medical advertising costs, provision of insurance, and drugs. Research asserts that these roles are vital in ensuring that the health care costs are decrease. Barr (2011) points out that government’s influence is vital as it restricts the embezzlement of funds and hiking of prices by organizations that can be accorded the role of distributing medical funds.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the economy market-driven health care sector forms the foundation of where reforms commence. The economy driven health care system will ensure reforms especially in instances where genuine information is provided. By genuine information, it means that the exact price should be provided for both willing sellers and willing buyers, which will promote normal and not distorted prices in the health care market. In this context, the government can participate in the health care reforms through facilitating knowledge of genuine information to the consumers. The government can also participate in reforms through assisting the consumers in formulating the rules of the game.
Lessons that Can be Learned from Existing Health care Delivery Systems in Other Industrialized Nations
The United States Health care System can adopt the standardized billing system. Proctor P. Reid; National Academy of Engineering; Institute of medicine; National Academies press (2005) indicate that the standardized billing system is a voluntart committee charged with the responsibility of handling claims in the health care department. It should be noted that the standardized billing system has can be co-ordinated nationwide so that all institutions involved can use it; thus, making handling of claims easier. The second lesson that can be learned from existing health care delivery system is improving the physicians payment package. Barr (2011) asserts that this is a system, which has been adopted by other developed nations and has contributed significantly in the provision of health care services. Physicians are poorly renumerated despite the time and effort they inculcate to treat Medicare patients. The incorporation of different strategies to facilitate universal coverage of health care consumers is another strategy that can be adopted by the US government. These strategies result in high uptake of the health care system as people gain the potential to seek medication from the health care facilities. Lastly, the government can advance incentives, which will encourage personal responsibility for health. According to Barr (2011), incentives such as cash transfers by the government can facilitate improved health care uptake as it will motivate the course of behavior of consumers.
Implications on Patients and the Health care Costs and Quality of Health care from the Continual Usage of Hospital Emergency Departments as A Source of Primary Medical Care by large Numbers of the Community’s Medically Undeserved
Firstly, the patients will lack primary care givers. This results because the primary care givers will be shift their attention to patients who require emergency services. this also results because hospitals usually have a limited number of primary care givers, which means that if all primary care givers get occupied with emergency situations, it will render patients helpless as no one will be there to cater to them. Secondly, the medically undeserved patients will result to lowering of the quality of treatment on legitimate services. The treatment quality on legitimate services will reduce because of the many patients who visit a hospital, which piles pressure on the primary and medical practititioners who might want to finish their shift on time and leave the facility because of work pressure.
A major effect that the above mentioned situation has on health care costs, and quality is that the medically under served will be unable to pay the set charges. In turn, this will contribute to the lowering health care costs in order to accommodate the underserved. Eventually, these costs are shifted to other patients who have to cater for the deficit resulting from the underserved usew of thye hospital and not being able to pay.
Major Factors That Have Resulted In the Shift in Utilization from Inpatient Hospitalization to Ambulatory Care Services
Firstly, it should be noted that new technologies have emerged, which have rendered impatient services inefficient. Thus, the presence of vehicles that can be installed with all the required medical facilities seem more appealing to many hospitals, which explains the shift from utilization of inpatient hospitalization to Ambulatory. Another significant point is that the medical personnel have being trained on ways of dealing with emergencies, which forms the need for them to stay on the ground in case they are needed anywhere. It should also be noted that Ambulatory services are faster in response as compared to inpatient services that require a lot of bureaucracy before a person is admitted to a hospital. Another point results from the fact that hospitals are competing against each other; thus, the need to shift with times in order for them to get patients for their services. This explains why hospitals have acquired several Ambulances and situated them at various points in cities to ensure that they respond quickly to any distress call.
The increase in number of chronic diseases has also motivated hospitals to shift to Ambulatory services. Shi & Singh (2011) points out that chronic diseases such as diabetes have motivated hospitals to engage in Ambulatory sevrices in order to be able to monitor such diseases on a regular basis.
What Are The Implications Of This Shift For Hospitals, Consumers, And The Health Care Delivery System As A Whole?
Hospitals will have a high profit margin, as they are able to cater to many patients who are and at all times of the day. However, setting up of the Ambulatory facilities is not cheap; thus, the hospitals will also have to pump in a lot of cash to be able kick-start the project. After setting up the project, the hospitals should incorporate physician alignment, which means that the hospitals should observe the services that are already provided at their organization, which can be provided by physicians outside. The hospitals will also have to observe the outpatient and inpatient services and establish existing continuums in relation to how the Ambulatory service can help to counter that continuum. Lastly, market positioning is also a factor to be monitored, as this will promote the expansion of the Ambulatory services.
The implication on patients is that they will have easy access to medical facilities, and this will reduce instances of loss of lives because of unavailability of transport. Another implication on patients is that they will pay cheaply for health care as Ambulatory services limit the instances of being admitted in hospitals. According to Sultz & Young (2010), the patients will also pay expensively because Ambulatory services are expensive as they offer door to door services, which means the cost is passed on to the consumer who are the patients.
The implication on health care delivery system as a whole is that there will be an improved service provision on patients, as this ensures that all people have access to basic health care. The health care system will suffer a blow because there will be distortion of prices by the hospitals, which will want to counter their costs of setting up Ambulatory services.