Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different daysby suggesting a possible strategy that their organization might pursue to address the stated economic concern(s). Be specific and provide examples.
Week 3 discussion Main post.
Three Healthcare Concerns in US Today
Three major US healthcare funding issues continue to influence the industry’s direction. Healthcare inequality, which is characterized by differences in access and coverage, the rising costs of medical services and prescription drugs, and the complexity of disjointed payment systems all present severe obstacles to the country’s healthcare system, influencing both the public and the economy. (Singh, 2023).
- Rising Healthcare Costs:
- Example: Prescription medication costs, medical services, and health insurance premiums are all getting more expensive. For example, the cost of necessary drugs like insulin has increased dramatically.
- Economic Relation: There is a connection between supply and demand in the economy and rising healthcare expenses. The aging population and improvements in medical technology are two reasons driving increasing demand for healthcare services, making it difficult for the supply to meet up. As a result of this disequilibrium, medical goods and services are frequently more expensive. (Pollack, 2022).
- Healthcare Inequality:
- Example: There are differences between various demographic groupings regarding insurance coverage and access to healthcare services. Health disparities may arise from the inability of individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to obtain high-quality medical care. (American Hospital Association, 2022).
- Economic Relation: Economic problems like income disparity are intimately related to healthcare inequity. Differences in health outcomes may worsen if those with lower incomes cannot afford health insurance or encounter obstacles in receiving essential medical treatment.
- Fragmented Payment Systems:
- Example: The healthcare payment system in the United States is complicated and involves several parties, including Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurers. The absence of a single payment system causes higher administrative expenses and administrative inefficiencies. (Pollack, 2022).
- Economic Relation: Economic inefficiencies may be connected to the disjointed payment system. Higher administrative costs result from several payment systems for payers and healthcare providers. Payment system simplification and optimization may lower these expenses.
Economics of Proposed Healthcare Solution
Telepsychiatry as a Solution:
Telepsychiatry refers to the provision of mental health care through the use of videoconferencing or telecommunications technologies. (Sharma & Devan, 2023).
- Addressing Rising Healthcare Costs: Because telepsychiatry offers affordable mental health care, it can help reduce the impact of rising expenses. It does away with the requirement for physical infrastructure, lowers patient travel costs, and makes better use of the time spent by healthcare professionals.
- Tackling Healthcare Inequality: In underserved rural or urban areas where mental health specialists may be in limited supply, telepsychiatry might facilitate better access to mental health care. Technology addresses disparities in service availability, and the gap in healthcare access is closed.
- Streamlining Payment Systems: Simplifying payment processes can benefit from the use of telepsychiatry. The administrative load on healthcare organizations can be lessened with standardized telehealth billing and reimbursement procedures, which may result in cost savings.
In conclusion, there is a strong correlation between the three recognized concerns about US healthcare financing and fundamental economic problems, including income inequality, supply and demand, and inefficiencies in the administrative process. One potential answer to these issues is telepsychiatry, which can help streamline payment processes while offering a convenient and affordable way to provide mental health services.
2. Three Healthcare Concerns in United States Today
Most of America’s hospitals face tremendous financial challenges due to acute personnel shortages, disrupted supply chains, the reintroduction of Medicare 2% sequestration, and rapid inflation that has increased the cost of caring, American Hospital Association. (2022). Uninsured people, value-based healthcare/workforce shortage and rising prescription medication costs are the three most pressing healthcare financing issues confronting the United States today, Singh (2023), Garrison and Towse (2017).
The uninsured are the focus of the first healthcare financing concern. Individuals without health insurance face the fundamental economic challenges of cost and need vs want. In the opinion of Garrison and Towse (2017) uninsured people are less likely than insured people to obtain treatment services for severe health issues and chronic diseases. Sadly, this patient population often must decide between what they want, such as preventative treatment, and what they require.
Secondly, the financial challenge is moving from a charge-for-service to a healthcare value-based approach. The monetary problem of price is addressed by value-based healthcare. As stated by Garrison and Towse (2017) shifting healthcare delivery to a value-based system seeks to improve patient safety and cost-efficiency and offer more effective health services thus eliminating unneeded services.
Finally, the rising cost of prescription medications is also a healthcare financing challenge. This problem also impacts the financial concerns of value and demand vs need. Several Americans are regularly confronted with the decision of which drugs to purchase due to increased expenses. According to Khera et al. (2019), reducing financial obstacles to getting critical medications, particularly in low-income patient populations, can help increase adherence to medications and minimize mortality as well as morbidity risks.
Fundamental Economic Issues
Healthcare reimbursement is a subject that touches on fundamental economic concerns since it involves supply and demand. Medicare and Medicaid, which account for more than 60% of all hospital treatment, reimburse hospitals less than the cost of providing care, and their reimbursement rates are non-negotiable, Pollack (2022). Patients on Medicare or Medicaid expect their insurance to cover their medical expenditures, yet healthcare providers are unable to provide enough financial recompense to hospitals. Patients incurring severe debt and relying on patients for revenue are likewise financial difficulties because they are price related. The inflated cost of medical bills discourages patients from paying on time, which affects the amount of money hospitals get from those same patients overall.
Economic of Proposed Healthcare Solutions
Our communities rely on hospitals and health systems for access to care. Seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day Pollack (2022). The care team’s plan for continuous interdisciplinary rounds can solve the healthcare challenges by addressing discharge needs to ensure that patients have everything they need for discharge whenever medical objectives are fulfilled through daily assessments to bridge the lack of insurance and prescription costs. Hospital leaders should discuss actions to refill the Provider Relief Fund for flexibility in accelerated and advanced Medicare repayments, American Hospital Association. (2022)
A multidisciplinary approach is required to determine the best cost-effective strategy to serve patients with high-quality patient-centered treatment. When everyone on the team collaborates, they may develop strategies to guarantee patients have the medications they need regardless of rising prescription costs, learn how to apply for inexpensive insurance and minimize unneeded services while still obtaining high-quality care. Interdisciplinary rounding daily is a critical step toward enhancing patient outcomes.