Introduction to Sports Medicine
  1. 1.      Give a description of a part of the body where movement is crucial for survival and/or activity of daily living (ADL's). Identify an activity of the part and what do you think is a reason for this activity to fail?

The spine is one of the most vital parts of the human body. It provides the basic structure and support for the body. Basically, it is an interface between the skeletal structure and the nervous system of the body. A person cannot stand up or maintain an upright posture without the spine. Furthermore, it enables a person to move freely around and flexibly bend his body (France, 2011). To cap it all, the spine also protects the spinal cord. Therefore, all body movements are controlled by the spine.

The spine is made up of certain vital components, including the vertebrae, inter - vertebral disc, facet joints, Neural Foraminae, spinal cord, nerve roots, para - spinal muscles and spinal segments (France, 2011). The spine is most probably the strongest yet most sensitive part of the body. Injury to the spine may even cause semi or permanent paralysis. Dislocation of the vertebrae makes a person unable to support the majority of the weight from his/her upper body. Also, when the body produces less spinal fluid, the nervous system may not work properly and the subject may suffer from delayed response to bodily senses.

  1. 2.      Should self-paying patients be charged higher rates than insured patients for the same medical services, if so, why? Given every hospital's concern with survival in a competitive market, can disparate pricing favoring individuals be justified? Explain

In my view, self – pay patients should not pay more than insured patients for medical services. In some instances, they end up paying even as much as double or even triple the amount that insured patients pay. From a basic point of view, it is notable that well to do (middle class and top class) citizens can afford to pay for insurance in the first place. It beats logic then, how the rich end up paying less in hospitals courtesy of having the advantage of a fully – packaged insurance while the poor patients get to pay high medical fees. Foreign visitors fall into such a predicament too, because even if they have medical cover in their home countries, insurance facilities cannot be negotiated in the resident country unless they sign up afresh for medical cover (Kronenfeld, 2007).

The disparity in medical fees comes about because self – pay patients do not enjoy the astute bargaining from insurers, the latter who always negotiate huge discounts on medical fees for their patients. Independent patients have to pay for full undiscounted rates for medical services.

From a business sense, the disparity in pricing for Medicare can be justified. Insuring patients ensures loyal clientele for ages to come, and both the hospital and the insurer stand to benefit. High self – pay prices convince the independent patient to opt for an insurance package that best suits them. However, the self – pay patient is left at the mercy of his/her own devices to settle medical fees if he/she cannot afford medical cover.

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