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Access, Cost and Quality of Care - Essay Example

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The delivery of health care is a dynamic and complex blend that is interdependent on health care providers and financial institutions that address the interests of the public. …
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Access, Cost and Quality of Care
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Download file to see previous pages These players include employers, patients, insurers, providers and the government. Concurrently, access is the availability of health care to persons who are in need. Finally, quality describes the relationship between the outcomes and interventions. It also refers to the ability of the interventions to lead to the desired impact. The short and extended effects of interventions include reduction in disease symptoms, recovery or cure, comfort and a prolonged life. Andersen, Rice, & Kominski (2007) indicates that the demand for health care in the globe has remained insatiable. This increases health care cost forcing the health care practitioners to work with minimal resources leading to the suppression of quality. Addressing Access, Cost and Quality of Care health is a complicated process that requires careful balance. The US has persistently faced challenges within the healthcare industry since 1960s. Andersen, Rice, & Kominski (2007) indicates that Medicaid and Medicare were responsible for the provision of health care. However, this led to the escalation of costs. Consequently, the policy makers had to devise measures for containing cost. This action further culminated in additional barriers. Wolper (2004) indicates that the actions taken to address cost eventually affected access. An additional goal within the institutions was to monitor the results and patterns of treatment to ensure quality. This was achievable through the identification of efficiency standards and quality deviations. Various procedures and tests were conducted using quality metrics. The outcomes of these tests were instrumental when devising appropriate interventions. An insurance system was introduced to reward the practitioners financially to efficiently drive this process. This acted as a motivation to the health care practitioners because they endeavored to perform additional procedures and conduct tests because of the awaiting financial benefits. The result was the increase in costs at the expense of the quality of health care. Additional emphasis was placed on conducting tests and performing medical procedures at the expense of preventive care (Wolper, 2004). Andersen, Rice, & Kominski (2007) indicates that the contemporary health care system in the United States is characterized by rising costs, decline in insurance coverage and growing gaps in access. This condition is attributable to commercialization of hospital services, boom in building of hospitals, employers’ cost control strategies and increasing stress levels within community safety nets. It is worth noting that the health practitioners and employers construct facilities to increase the number of consumers (Kronenfeld, 2007). There has also been a remarkable expansion in medical surgery capacity particularly in affluent populations. This has led to increased competition between hospitals and the physicians for profits. For example, orthopedic care has witnessed competition within the care market. The result is the increase in the utilization of heath care services and subsequent rise in costs. The competitive strategies in the health care system have led to the elimination of care services that are less profitable. For example, the admission to mental health care has been affected based on the increasing rivalry in the market. Additionally, uninsured patients have also been victims of the neglect because they have to pay from their pockets (Wolper, 2004). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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