The American healthcare has continued to lose support from the majority of its citizens. Most doctors have expressed their concern that something is literary not going on right. There have been complaints over unnecessary bureaucracies, very few nurses, litigious patients, unreasonable insurance companies, as well as less reduced freedom between the medical practitioners and their patients. Such challenges have impacted negatively on the cost of health care in the United States. In this right up, I will present various proposals, as the Secretary of Health and Human Services, on how the various economic challenges facing our healthcare can be addressed.
As things stand, our country has continued to faces fiscal gaps which may exceed $70 trillion over a long-term. This is a clear reflection of the looming retirement by 78 million people giving birth in large numbers who will have to be provided with the social security, Medicare, and Medicaid whose average is grater that the per capita gross domestic product upon their retirement (Berwick, 2006). It is therefore clear that the government needs to review its health care system to cover those Americans whose lives are not insured. Additionally, we must give our health care a new system.
As the Secretary of Health and Human Services, I take up the challenge that I have the means and authority to make national healthcare decisions. I therefore plan to fix the current U.S. healthcare system in a number of ways. Among the problems I am preparing to deal with include; uninsured HMOs/PHOs, Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement, rising healthcare costs in general and the current healthcare insurance reforms. I personally believe that there is no option of the need to provide all our citizens with a first rate basic insurance plan as well as that of limiting the cost incurred in the provision of the universal healthcare insurance.
First, I plan to make health care in our country a human right. This is because of the realization that our country’s spending on health care is about two times as it is in the country experiencing the second highest costs in health care after our nation (Herzlinger, 2007). I have always not liked the argument by certain individuals that; by making health care a human right, it will not be affordable to many. This is false since it is only our country which has failed to recognize health care as a human right among the major developed nations. I therefore feel that it is time I persuade the President and the congress to take action and provide the leadership needed in the transformation of our health care.
Secondly, I also believe that our current system must change to enable the government to pay towards meeting the cost of caring for the population instead that of events. In the current system, our payment towards health care is fragmented into paying for different aspects like; drugs, hospital stays, lab tests, therapists, and office visits. This has since led to the destruction of the needed care while leaving the patients confused with some even being abandoned. Providing funds towards the care for people over a period of time would help our health care system to minimize the illness burden. This is because it will unlike spending on specified medical events; focus on the preventive care which is of high quality. I believe that it is a well managed care which can address the needs that are real to the patients through ensuring that the patients obtain the kind of care that they need at the right time (Berwick, 2006).
Thirdly, it is thus obvious that there is need for allowing the comprehensive care providers to replacement the public health care. Presently, our Medicaid and Medicare are normally guided by a model similar to that of the private health plans. This means that the doctor or the hospital attended by the patient must obtain their reimbursement based on the bureaucratic model. This in turn results into a model in which fees are paid for services thus misalignment of the incentives towards the provision of more care. I will therefore seek to ensure the alignment of the incentive through implementing a single provider model. In this case, a highly accountable health care organization which will charge a fixed price for all the patient related services provided annually instead of having the patients pay fee for each service as in the current fragmented system. This system is similar to the California’s Kaiser Health System that has proved very effective and efficient. Some of our states, like New York and Texas, are already implementing the model for all of their Medicaid recipients and I believe this is the way to go.
Fourthly, we must seek to remove unnecessary bureaucratic restrictions in our health care systems. Our present structure simply strives to use bureaucratic restrictions instead of having human incentives aligned. I agree with Berwick (2006) that such a process is expensive and only works to skew the incentives even more. I have often received complaints from our doctors that they do spend most of their time; almost a third, doing paper work. Patients have also had to face incomprehensive guidelines of the reimbursement guidelines. With our records showing that; this bureaucracy in health care only accounts for 14% of its effectiveness while costing as high as 31% of the health care costs, the system certainly needs to be changed.
Moreover, eliminating the unnecessary bureaucratic process will also enable our nation to avoid the unnecessary costs associates with the legal fear resulting from fraud occurring during reimbursement and the unreliable justice which are easily hidden in such a complex process of bureaucracy. I am convinced that this is the reason behind the escalating costs of appendectomy which is currently estimated to exceed four times what it is in Germany. I therefore plan to implement changes in our structures and institutions as this will be the only way of eliminating the status quo.
Fifthly, I will lobby for the creation of special health courts to handle the distrust of justice among the medical practitioners and other health care providers. I have been made aware that the distrust increases the costs we incur through defensive medicine practice which is common among the practitioners. In this case; procedures and tests that are unnecessary are ordered for arbitrarily as a means of defense in cases of lawsuit. Doctors have therefore continued to make additional money more so because they have standardized this practice. In Pennsylvania alone, 93% of the specialists involved in high-risks admitted of engaging in the ill practice.
Finally, I plan to address the plight of the 45 millions of our citizens who have no health insurance while also looking into the ways reducing the cost incurred by those who are insured. My attention has been brought to the dissatisfaction of patients towards the quality of care offered by the uninsured HMOs/PHOs irrespective of the high costs they have had to contend with. In order to solve the problems facing those who are insured, our policies must also be changed to differentiate insurance from customers. Our citizens have had to pay for the overhead and margin besides paying the actual cost charged for the care services of the insurance companies. This will ensure the elimination or reduction of the brokers, provider networks, and the employers. The many number of these third parties has led to an increasing cost of health care since all of them seek to maximize their profits (Levine, 2009).
As I conclude, I believe that we need to ensure that policies are put in place to ensure that every American citizen have accessible to health care coverage and quality care. It is only by transforming our health care system that we will be able to provide quality health care for all our citizens. I therefore promise my commitment to seeing that the above recommendations are implemented.