Health Care Industry in America Essay

Pages: 8 (2634 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .

American physicians feel that American health care does not work well and needs rebuilding (Blendon, 2001).

From the consumers' point-of-view, there is a great deal of dissatisfaction in the quality of health care (Davis, 2006). A variety of studies have revealed that U.S. consumers are not satisfied with the quality of communication between themselves and their physician especially in regard to making health care decisions but the one area where American consumers express satisfaction in is the area of the timeliness of their treatment. Here Americans were satisfied in their ability to see a specialist or obtain elective surgery but they still complained about being able to readily obtain care on nights and weekends.

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The overall level of dissatisfaction and the empirical evidence that seemingly indicates that the overall quality of health care in America is less exceptional than perceived begs the question as to why there is so much resistance to any suggestion to radical change in the system. It should be clear that the argument which is often offered that reforms in the American health care system should not be initiated because of the danger of destroying the world's best health care system is without merit (McGlynn, 2003). The studies indicate that there are severe problems in the American system and that these problems, such as the high cost of treatment and the number of uninsured, are undermining the system. In light of the fact that the United States spends nearly twice as much per person on health care than any other nation in the world should cause everyone to question the operation of the American health care system. The need for an increase in quality, lower costs, and greater access should be sufficient to demand that reform should be forthcoming.

TOPIC: Essay on Health Care Industry in America Assignment

The reality is that the health care industry will not only continue to grow but also in importance as the American population continues to age. The baby boomer generation is approaching retirement age and, as a result, their health care needs will increase. Within the next decade nearly half the population will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, Veterans Health and/or the Military Health systems and the rest of the population will be covered through some form of subsidized insurance program. This will be the case regardless of how the Obama plan develops.

For a variety of reasons, the overall emphasis in health care will change from one where the focus is on diagnosis and treat to disease prevention and health promotion. Because of the expected surge in the number of individuals seeking treatment as a result of the greater availability of health coverage and the fact that the old system of diagnosis and treat has not proven effective, prevention will become the goal of the new health care delivery system. This transition will be made easier by the fact that, due to increased technology and recognition by the medical profession that it is necessary, there will also be a shift toward more personalized health care. Patients will be not only expected but also required to assume more responsibility for their own individualized care but managed care will continue to be a significant part of the health care system.

Although managed care began as the result of cost concerns, managed care will also be involved in ensuring that quality is being either increased or maintained as costs are contained. Managed care participation in the market place can be expected to increase and, as a result, high cost providers can anticipate that unless they are able to demonstrate an incremental increase in the quality of their care they will feel the effects of not only greater criticism from managed care administrators but also stricter controls.

The future of health care will definitely include the greater utilization of computers, telecommunications, and information technology. The greater use of technology will allow doctors and other health care professionals the opportunity to communicate more easily and quickly. Improved access to information will provide care takers with the opportunity to determine what therapies and treatments work best in particular circumstances and remove some of the trial and error approaches that have been used in the past. This should serve to remove some of the art involved in health care and make the practice of medicine more of a science. In the process costs should be reduced and quality should be increased.

Because medical knowledge increases faster than the ability of anyone to comprehend it, increased use of computers and other technology allows physicians and other medical providers the chance to move rapidly through the process of diagnosis and therapy in a way that would not be otherwise possible. Reducing the time spent diagnosing and determining the proper course of treatment should serve to change the role of most physicians away from being repositories of information and allow them to spend more of their time building actual human relationships with their patients. This aspect of their professional, their bedside manner so to speak, should assist them in helping their patients change the behavior and lend support to the goal of prevention. Preventing disease and injury has been demonstrated to be the most effective method for reducing health care costs and anything that can be done in this regard should be adopted.

There can be no doubt that the health care industry in America must be radically changed. With costs spiraling and so many Americans forgoing treatment because of the lack of health insurance, the overall state of health in the nation suffers. Unfortunately, the country has become bogged down in an acrimonious debate as to how to resolve these difficulties and there is no indication that this situation will be resolved in the near future. The Obama administration has attempted to resolve the issue with new health insurance legislation but even the state of that legislation remains in doubt. Under the circumstances, making any predictions about the future is difficult but change is inevitable. With any luck these changes will come sooner than later and will affect significant improvement in the level of care in the United States.

References

Blendon, R. (2001). Physicians' Views on Quality of Care: A Five Country Comparison. Health Affairs, 233-243.

Davis, K. (2006). Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An Update on the Quality of American Health Care through the Patient's Lens. New York: The Commonwealth Fund.

McGlynn, E.A. (2003). The Quality of Health Care Delivered to Adults in the United States. New England School of Medicine, 2635-2645.

Nolte, E. (2008). Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis. Health Affairs, 58-71.

Roberts, J. (2010, June 14). Poll: The Politics of Health Care. Retrieved March 9, 2012, from CBS News Opinion: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500160_162-2528357.html

Sullivan, S.D. (2010). U.S. Health Care reform: a work in progress. The… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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