Providing healthcare to communities can help to address some of the challenges that are facing them. For example, if a community has a high rate of infant mortality, there is a need to address the health needs of these babies. Healthcare can also help to reduce medical costs by reducing expensive emergency department visits and hospital stays. It can also help to ensure that care is provided in a culturally competent manner.
Protecting people from the financial consequences of paying for healthcare out of their own pockets
Obtaining a quality health care plan, especially one that covers the entire family, is a worthy investment for any household. Unfortunately, the cost of healthcare in the United States has continued to rise. The good news is that the Affordable Care Act has reduced the number of uninsured Americans. However, the legislation hasn’t done much to protect consumers from the financial ramifications of paying for health care out of pocket.
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is the need for a robust financing structure. This will help to spread the risk of illness across the population. In particular, a state-sponsored insurance plan could address the racial health care disparities that plague this nation’s burgeoning middle class. In addition to the financial ramifications, such a plan could eliminate cost shifting in the workers’ compensation system. This is particularly important as the cost of medical services has risen at an astounding rate.
The best way to do this is to take a leaf out of the book of the world’s best health insurance systems: make it compulsory for all. The ensuing cost reduction would be a boon to the poor and middle class alike. A state-sponsored insurance plan would also free up the resources necessary to fund the next wave of health care innovations.
The cost of healthcare in the United States is a tad too steep for a lot of us to afford. This is especially true for middle-class families who are in the unfortunate position of having to make difficult choices about their health care. With the advent of a state-sponsored insurance plan, the middle class could take pride in their health and regain some of the financial wrath of the recession.
Lowering medical costs by reducing expensive emergency department visits and hospital stays
Increasing primary care capacity and reducing expensive emergency department visits and hospital stays can help consumers avoid unnecessary medical treatment. The cost of treating 10 conditions in the hospital ED is more than $1,800 higher than the average cost of treating those conditions in primary care. The costs of ER visits can easily exceed deductibles.
In the United States, 62 million people live in areas where there is a shortage of primary care providers. This means that patients have a difficult time accessing quality care. The UnitedHealth Group released a study that highlights the challenges patients face in accessing quality care.
The Health Care Cost Institute studied millions of claims over a 10-year period. They estimated that the average cost of an ER visit was $1389 in 2017. These costs can vary based on the treatment and volume of patients seen. In addition to ER visits, emergency room costs also include hospital inpatient costs.
These costs are based on hospital accounting reports from CMS. The hospital receives reimbursements for elective admissions and transfers. The federal government provides funding to hospitals to help treat the poor. The federal government does not provide enough funding to cover the full cost of treating all patients.
Hospital ERs are required by law to provide care to all patients. However, many patients without insurance often use emergency rooms as their primary health care providers. This can result in pent-up demand for delayed care.
Approximately one-third to one-half of all ER visits are for non-urgent care. Urinary tract infections were the third most common reason for ER visits.
The UnitedHealth Group study found that the cost of treating these conditions was $1,800 higher in the hospital ED than in primary care. This is a significant gap that can be closed by increasing primary care capacity.
Improving access to care and the value of care in vulnerable communities
Getting more people to access healthcare services is a global health priority. A strong primary healthcare system is essential to maintaining population health. However, access to services is often limited or inaccessible. This can prevent some communities from receiving the health care they need. There is a need for more research to understand why and how to achieve this.
There is a lack of evidence about which interventions work best. Health care organizations need to work with payers to develop effective strategies to reduce health disparities. They must also increase diversity in leadership and train staff on cultural competency. In addition, providers need to address social needs through screening and navigation services.
A framework was developed to help researchers better understand how to improve access to care and how to measure the effectiveness of interventions. It identifies five dimensions of accessibility of care. Each dimension corresponds to a particular type of patient ability. The most common dimensions of accessibility are appropriateness and availability and accommodation. The framework gives a structured approach to the work.
A recent study examined innovations that improve access to primary healthcare for vulnerable populations. A total of 240 unique examples were identified from 14 countries. Most innovations were government funded, with the majority of them delivered in a community health setting.
The authors found that the most effective innovations were mainly focused on improving access to health care services. Most were government funded and targeted diverse populations groups. Most interventions were highly fragmented, with only a small percentage addressing the supply-side determinants of access.
However, the most important feature of these innovations was that they targeted the right groups. Most interventions targeted low-income people and other vulnerable populations. These groups are more likely to lack access to preventive care, such as flu and cancer screenings.
Ensure that care is equitable and culturally competent
Ensure that healthcare is equitable and culturally competent to achieve improved health care outcomes for all consumers. A culturally competent health care system can help reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. A health care system that provides care to diverse patients can also be more effective and can reduce administrative and linguistic barriers to care.
The increasing racial, ethnic and gender diversity of the nation presents a challenge for both policy makers and health care providers. Providing health care services to these populations is challenging due to language barriers and a lack of health literacy.
Healthcare systems are now responding to these challenges by creating comprehensive strategies to improve their ability to respond to minority populations. These approaches include increased diversity in leadership, governance, data collection, and recruitment of cultural competency training.
Health care providers, particularly hospital staff, must be prepared to interact with diverse patients. Providing effective cultural competence training involves multiple training methods, ongoing education, and the collection and analysis of health care disparities data. The effectiveness of these training programs is often based on how well patients are served and how long staff members remain aware of cultural differences.
Health care disparities remain a persistent concern. For example, African American women are less likely to pursue breast reconstruction surgery than Hispanic women. This disparity is also experienced by Asian women. Identifying and responding to health disparities is an important goal of the U.S. healthcare system.
The Office of Minority Health developed national standards for the workforce, linguistically and culturally appropriate health care services, and accountability. These standards were updated in 2000 and 2013.
Health care providers, especially physicians, need to be culturally competent to provide effective care to minority populations. Effective training programs include measurement and tracking of patient satisfaction scores, case study review, and live interactions with patients.
Share information with their local healthcare system
Taking the time to share information with your docs is a no brainer. As it turns out, the healthcare industry is a surprisingly tight-knit community, a triumphedo akin to a fraternity. So it’s no surprise that there is a corresponding tidal wave of innovation afoot. The big three of course are health plans, insurers, and primary care physicians. As a result, there is a need for the holy grail of a health system, which is to provide members with the highest quality care, a la carte style.
The aforementioned is where the heart is at, and the requisite heart rate is high. To keep the magic flowing, the state is implementing a new, comprehensive medical record-sharing protocol called the mHealth, as well as a plethora of new clinical quality and patient safety initiatives. The aforementioned health information is being shared by more than 300 hospitals and health systems in the state, which is impressive, to say the least. The aforementioned health information is also being shared by more than 400 primary care providers, as well as over 500 primary care physician offices.