Although preventative services such as routine well-care visits and immunizations have often shown to be beneficial in terms of preventing future and more expensive health care encounters, not all insurance plans offer reimbursement for such things. In addition, health care policies have only recently begun to recognize the "worth" of funding prevention-related services. Moreover, the funding of preventive health care services continues to face challenges among the third-payer and the administrator. This paper discusses the reasons that have prevented funding of preventive health care service to become a major component of health plans. The paper also proposes measures to mitigate the situation.
Funding preventive health care services
Increasing concern for health has led to innovative and creative ways of preventing illnesses amongst people. One such ways is the adoption of preventive health care services in which governments and other agencies are spending millions of money to invest in preventive methods. However, this is happening at the backdrop of growing concern that funding of health care services is stagnating or even being reversed because a number of challenges. Moreover, funding of health care services is not yet fully inculcated in the health care plans. This paper gives my opinion on why funding of health care services has taken a long time to become a major component of health plans.
From the beginning, I do agree with Brindle (2011) that health care services are mainly meant at addressing current problems while preventive health care services are aimed at future problems. On the other hand the urgency in the health sector is to eliminate the health problems that people might be facing. As such, preventive health care services have always received second priority when it comes to funding by the government or other third party payers. Similarly, preventive health care services lack necessary creative and innovative goodwill from the stakeholders and this has made plans to implement projects related to preventive health care to be shelved whenever there is a concern for the availability of funds. In the end, the projects are postponed into the future since the available funds have been used for more pressing current issues in health.
Moreover, there is little knowledge among the funders and the people themselves concerning preventive health care services. Most people view preventive health care services as a leisure activity which does not need to be given priority in the schedule of a busy person. For instance, most people will not care to regularly and consistently visit preventive health care facilities like gyms and swimming pool when they have something to do. The little concern from the people has caused some funders to withdraw their funds from existing facilities and in the end prevent the total takeoff of preventive health care services in communities (Johnson, 2010)
Another reason inhibiting total inclusion of preventive health care services in the overall health plans is a lack of research in the field to provide evidence and support that preventive health care services can actually lead to reduction in the number of illness cases in a society (Brindle, 2011). The researches to determine the viability of preventive health care services has been tracking on and therefore prevent third-party payers and governments to fully inculcate these services in their health care plans.
The Step Forward
There is thus the need for the understanding that funding in health care is based on the fact that the project will help in alleviating existing health problems (Langenbrunner & Somanathan, 2011). The third-party payers need to invest first in research projects that point out the benefits that can accrue from preventive health care services in the future. When the benefits can be quantified; for instance, that by a reduction in the number of elderly people who develop heart problems or children who develop disabilities, then the third-party payers and administrators will channel their efforts to support preventive health care services.
Furthermore, there is a need to increase awareness and knowledge among third-party payers and administrators to have an attitude of keeping preventive health care services at the top of their agendas while planning for their health programs. This should be so even with the realization that the benefits of such ventures are long-term (Steinwachs & Hughes, 2010). The planners therefore need to realize that relegating preventive health care services to secondary priority only serves to provide solutions to short-term health problems while long-term challenges remain.
In conclusion, third-party payers and administrators need to support the existing preventive health care services. This will in the process attract other funders. I also believe that there is need to educate the public on the importance of attending primary, secondary, and tertiary preventive health care services as a way of protecting themselves from diseases and returning them to normal states of physical, mental, and social functioning.