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Healthcare Competition in the United States - Research Paper Example

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The writer fo this study "Healthcare Competition in the United States" suggests that the money spent on the Medicine System reflects the healthcare quality. The paper discusses such problem and other issues related to the medicine in the US…
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Healthcare Competition in the United States
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Download file to see previous pages It has been argued that competition in healthcare in the US operates “at the level of health plans, networks, and hospital groups”. It must also be noted that health plans, hospital groups and physician groups have banded together in order to gain greater influence so that better deals could be made with suppliers as well as customers. However, this banding of the respective groups has failed to produce any improvements in the quality or efficiency of the provided services. Rather the opposite has taken place – quality of service and efficiency of operations has gone down in the healthcare sector.
One of the primary means to drive competition in the healthcare sector is through health plans. The current configuration for health plans only makes money by denying patient’s certain services and by limiting the options available to subscribers as well as their physicians. A health plan can only be competitive when it can actually make a reasonable profit to justify its efficacy. In order to justify the economic value addition of health plans, it is common practice to limit the patient’s choices to previous methods of treatment that cost less than more recent innovations in healthcare. Similarly health plans typically pay hospitals a fixed amount to deal with a patient’s particular ailment. This approach stands in contrast to paying the hospital a variable amount for a complete patient treatment cycle. Since hospitals will be paid a typical fee no matter what the actual treatment cycle is so they tend to use cheaper methods of treatment.
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urrent configuration for health plans only makes money by denying patient’s certain services and by limiting the options available to subscribers as well as their physicians. A health plan can only be competitive when it can actually make a reasonable profit to justify its efficacy. In order to justify the economic value addition of health plans, it is common practice to limit the patient’s choices to previous methods of treatment that cost less than more recent innovations in healthcare. Similarly health plans typically pay hospitals a fixed amount to deal with a patient’s particular ailment. This approach stands in contrast to paying the hospital a variable amount for a complete patient treatment cycle. Since hospitals will be paid a typical fee no matter what the actual treatment cycle is so they tend to use cheaper methods of treatment as well as cheaper medicine (Porter & Teisberg, 2004). Given such treatment, the hospital will only be able to make more money if the patient is readmitted and ironically this approach is in use by hospitals to make more money. An essential other problem is the inclusion of legal choices in order to find acceptable solutions to medical disputes. Competitive practices in business tend to rely on the court system in order to settle disputes. The same is true for the healthcare sector in the US that is seen as a competitive industry. Theoretically the court system ought to simplify the reprisal of problems but this is not the practical case. The inclusion of courts to medical disputes between patients, physicians and suppliers tends to make the process more cumbersome as well as more expensive. The inclusion of legal fees has the unwanted consequence of inflating medical costs to newer higher levels. On the one hand the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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