Shifts Currently Taking Place in the Health Care System
Change of health care policies is one of the main changes taking place in the healthcare system. The passing of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the patient protection has significant repercussions for emergency physicians and the health care system in general (Sasson et al., 2012). The enactment of ACA reduced the number of working-age adults that are not insured in almost all states in US in 2014, compared to what was recorded in 2013. A decline was also recorded among the unsecured children by about 2% in 16 states (Hayes et al., 2017).There has been a positive change in the health care following the ACA enactment. However the health care system may soon be taking a new course following the new call for the current government to make changes in the current ACA policy.
The Shift from Acute Care to Wellness and Prevention and the Shift in Accountability
Health care organizations are also trying to put more emphasis on disease prevention which is regarded to be cheaper than acute care or treatment. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) considered an extra health care reform plan that are based on five forms of possible preventable healthcare conditions that include hospital readmissions, ED visits, hospital admission, procedure complications, and ancillary services utilization. To discourage these situations the MedPAC has a consideration of employing punishment measures that include reimbursement limitation (Sasson et al., 2012). In this case, health care systems are expected to ensure they eliminate readmission due to the same reason within 30 days, and readmission due to hospital infections or procedure complication among others. In this regard, patients readmitted for the same reasons and due to medical errors or hospitalized infection are not anticipated to pay more for the medical measures to be taken to treat their advanced situation. This move focused on improving health care operation efficiency and accountability. There was also formation of Accountable Care Organization (ACO)which advocates for an alliance between physicians as well as other health care professionals to promote collaboration that promotes deliverance of quality health care and cost accountability (McNamara, 2015).
Current and Potential Challenges with the Health Care System
Cost has been the main challenge in the health care system in the United States. Medical cost has for a long time been far beyond the reach of most uninsured people especially the elderly who are highly probable to get acute medical conditions as they age. Although the ACA managed to draw these cost down, it is anticipated that the healthcare cost will escalate in the future, especially if the current changes intended to be done on ACA policy are successful. Quality of care and accountability are another challenges facing the health care system today. According to research, the collective effect of all health care quality issues is staggering. There is currently no assurance that any person will get high-quality care in for any specific health issue. Without effective strategies to improve the situation, this condition may be experienced even in the future especially in public health units.
Evolution of the Consumers Healthcare Cost
The consumer healthcare cost has been rising steadily since 20th century with a considerable increase after every one decade. This trend continued until the enactment of Affordable Care Act. This demonstrated a reduction in the consumer care as insurance took over most of the consumer related care. However, the change was not experienced for long. The situation started changing at around 2015, as more and more legal restriction were imposed on various aspects of Affordable care implementation strategies that include inability to bargain for pharmacy products among other things (Leonard, 2015). The cost may continue to increase in the future as more and more changes take place.
There was a noted change in terms of the population seeking medical assistance at various points after the passing of Affordable Care Act. More people were able to receive medical including emergency services as a result of a decline in the medical cost. More and more people who are regarded to be at risk for various conditions especially adults have been seeking medical checkups in large numbers. A possible change increase in the cost is likely to attract a decline in the health services seeking especially in high risk assessment and early diagnoses (Leonard, 2015).
Methods of Handling Challenges in Health Care System and their Effectiveness
The government has been enacting policies that focus on solving the major challenges in the health care system. The ACA was one of the measures that the government employed to handle the medical cost, although there has been some challenges in effective implementation of its components (Luke, 2001). The effort to enhance preventive health care measure by promoting health care services and accountability is also a measure taken by the main stakeholders in the health care system. The health care system stakeholders are also lobbying to enhance more changes that are resulting to increase in health care expenses. Although policies have been effective, they have not been effective in enhancing long-term measures since they are changed from one regime to another. Healthcare systems are also trying to employ effective management measures that include collaboration and transformational leadership to improve efficiency and quality of care. This has proved to be a more effective method of enhancing health care system in various healthcare institutions (Sasson et al., 2015).
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