Evolution of US Healthcare System since Post Industrial Period

Post-industrial era can be trace from late 1800s. During this time American physicians acquired professional dominion and fought against national health care. The health care system during this period was facilitated by patient dependency, urbanization, institutionalization, science and technology, organization and autonomy, as well as patient dependency. Urbanization was characterized by people living away from their families and entering of women in the workforce. In the health care system, urbanization resulted to minimized physician services opportunity cost, and physicians increased productivity. Science and technology was characterized by cultural authority which included general reliance on and acceptance of the profession members’ judgment. There was a reduction on familial treatments reliance and a growing demand for expert services. The period was also characterized by a number of major revolutionary medical discoveries. They include the X-ray imaging in 1895, Anesthesia in 1846, antiseptic surgery in 1865, aseptic techniques in 1860, antiseptic surgery in 1865, and penicillin in 1929 (Jbpub.com, n.d).

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The institutionalization also impacted the health care system in that there was pooling of resources which was necessitated by urbanization, professionalization and medical technology. Hospital became essential health care delivery institutions. There was dependency developed by expectation of the society that medical care should be given to the sick to get better, and the cultural authority of the profession. The health care system also experienced education reforms in this period. The medical education was reformed by John Hopkins and Harvard. There was addition of laboratory science and instruction to the curriculum. Medical education turned to be a graduate training course. The medical education was controlled by the American Medical Association (AMA).Organization and cohesiveness of professionals in healthcare system was brought about by economic and social changes. Specialization and hospital growth created need for physicians support especially for patient referrals and facilities access to admit their patients. The ability of physicians to be free of control from insurance companies and hospitals remained a conspicuous American medicine feature.  AMA which was formed in 1847 started to concentrate more on medical education since 1904. This cohesiveness and organization was also promoted by passing of legislations that include the 1870 Medical Practice Acts, guiding on licensure of medical practices in the United States. Licensure laws were revised in 1890s and late 1880s to demand licensure of all medical candidates that included individual holding medical degrees. There was also a demand to pass the education before the licensure (Jbpub.com, n.d).

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The 20th century was characterized by specialization in the medical field, with more and more physicians specializing on specific field. The current level of specialization to general practice is at 48: 52. The 20th century was also characterized by development of neuropathology which scientific treatment and study of mental illnesses.  There was also development and advancement of public health as a separate entity of the normal medical system. This focused on public health practices including study of epidemics. There was also the establishment and development of veterans’ health services after the First World War. This was characterized by nursing homes outpatient clinics, and hospitals, mostly caring for individuals with disabilities. In 1914, there was birth of the first extensive-coverage of health insurance in form of compensation program for workers.

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By 1990, there was development of health insurance policies which eventually resulted to the development of private health insurance. In 1965, there was enactment of Medicare and Medicaid law, providing alternative for private health insurance to the public. Medicare and Medicaid focused on protecting the indigent, disabled and elderly. This law has also experienced various modifications to enhance better services which included the 2003 Medicare prescription drug, improvement, and modernization act. Since the enactment of the Medicare, there have been various legislation changes focusing on making medical health more affordable and ensuring proper care. The 2010 Affordable Care Act made it possible for American to have patient protection and reduced health services cost (Jbpub.com, n.d.).

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