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Strategiespoliciesprograms could be utilized to reduce the healthcare cost to the taxpayers for uninsured Texans - Essay Example

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Health care costs are rising at rate that is exceeding the states' ability to make up the shortfall. These rising costs are also impacted by the rising number of uninsured and the reduction in employer sponsored healthcare policies. Texas has been especially affected by the rising rates of uninsured where the number of uninsured has hit 24.5% (Friedenzohn 2007 p.8)…
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Strategiespoliciesprograms could be utilized to reduce the healthcare cost to the taxpayers for uninsured Texans
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Download file to see previous pages These areas are prescription drug coverage, technology, managed care, reducing the number of uninsured, and innovative programs.
There are several aspects of the prescription drug program that need to be reviewed. Currently Texas has a local health care system where the counties are responsible for the healthcare of its residents. Care often falls to charity or safety net hospitals (Uninsured in Texas n.d. p.4). There needs to be more focus on regional and statewide cooperation involving the purchase of prescription drugs. This would provide a centralized point of purchase, which would aid in the negotiating power of the state on drug prices from the pharmaceutical companies.
In addition to lower price there needs to be some forms of cost control on the use of prescription drugs. There should be a review of the formulary for drug availability that would exclude some drugs from coverage. These would include cosmetic, hair loss, and investigational drugs. Drugs with a high potential for abuse such as amphetamines and barbiturates should also come under review. These exclusions would have to be accomplished within the current federal guidelines.
Generic drug use should also be encouraged. ...
This would also help reduce public resistance to low cost generic drugs.
A preferred drug list of the lowest cost drugs should be utilized to pre-authorize a particular drug. Prior authorization would be necessry for any drug not on the list. Several other state programs have used this approach with some success. It may be seen as a burden to physicians and pharmacists and should be introduced in a step program beginning with non-emergency treatments such as anorexants and anti-ulcer reflux medications (Kaiser Commission 2002 p.9). Emergency supplies for short-term treatment could still be provided without prior authorization.
There should also be a 'failed first policy' on prescription drugs. If a new more expensive drug is available, it should not be used until the older and less expensive substitute has been proven ineffective. Fail first programs may not be appropriate for rapidly evolving medications such as used for the treatment of mental illness (Fail-first policies 2003). This program would need to be strictly monitored and have a physician right to supersede it.
2. Technology
Improved technology has the potential to save billions of dollars in health care costs. Texas needs to adopt the most recent innovations in medical technology. Shared medical records across a network would aide physicians and emergency rooms in reducing redundant tests and procedures. It also has the capacity to make the most recent knowledge and diagnosis available across the network in a virtual care coordination system.
The creation of a cross care coordinated network would be a valuable tool for the uninsured as well as offering health care providers easy access to medical records. A system of community based care ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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