Healthcare Provision Challenges in the US

Introduction

Provision of quality and affordable healthcare is the primary role of the healthcare department in any country. Arguably, the government must ensure that the citizens receive quality care in various medical facilities as a fundamental human right provision. Therefore, qualified and professionally competent medical practitioners must offer these services and be availed to all individuals irrespective of their socioeconomic status. Apparently, the United States of America faces some fundamental challenges that call for immediate redress. Presently, the healthcare department in the USA suffers a shortage of medical doctors making patients wait for a long period to receive the services. Moreover, high prices of drugs and medicinal bills, inability to keep track of proper functioning of the laid down medical procedures and existence of uninsured citizens and immigrants also contribute to the problem.

Thesis Statement

The USA Department of Health must respond to the healthcare challenges to facilitate the provision of affordable and quality care as mandated by the law. Accordingly, this retrospect essay proposes some of the significant solutions to a poor medical provision that can be adopted by the USA Department of Health and the government at large. Specifically, the best solutions to these problems include:

  1. Employing enough and professionally qualified medical doctors
  2. Making health insurance personal and portable
  3. Formulating state procedures, laws and regulations that govern the provision of healthcare insurance to ensure an effective business competition and counter the efforts of cartels
  4. Standardization of drug and medical provision prices
  5. Experimenting with the Medicaid with full government support.

Direct Arguments

At present, the U.S. healthcare is experiencing significant challenges that are bound to result in gross mistreatment of patients and mismanagement of their needs unless handled properly. Partially, the specified issues are caused by the drastic lack of qualified staff (Mincer). The personnel crisis at most of the U.S. hospitals has grown out of proportions over the past few years, causing a significant drop in the overall quality of care and the inability of healthcare services to manage the needs of their patients accordingly (Mincer). The specified issue has aggravated to an even greater degree with the rise in the levels of diversity in the environment of modern healthcare. Because of the necessity to cater to the needs of an increasingly diverse population and, therefore, engage in the process of the consistent knowledge acquisition, nurses have to acquire new knowledge and skills on a regular basis. The lack of motivation to educate themselves and participate in the process of lifelong learning, however, is truly glaring among nurses (Mincer). Therefore, hiring the staff that is competent is the first step toward creating the environment in which nurses and other healthcare experts will feel encouraged to grow professionally. As a result, the quality of nursing services is bound to improve since nurses will be able to engage in a cross-cultural dialogue with patients and develop the skills that will be needed to address the health concerns of a target population.

Apparently, the challenges in healthcare have resulted in grave adversities, including death due to lack of quality and affordable medical care (Parker et al. 148). Indeed, this is partly caused by the high cost of quality medical services in the USA; time spent to access the services, and low standard of care (Hyman and Silver 893). Unfortunately, the cost of care in the US creates disparities since only people in the middle and upper classes have adequate access to the same. The USA Department of Healthcare should establish effective and long-lasting solutions to these problems. As illustrated by Parker et al. (150), the existence of professionally and highly skilled medical practitioners in medical facilities ensure a quality service provision. In addition, this will increase the number of patients receiving medical services, which will reduce the mortality rate (Parker et al. 150). Further, the integration of technologically based procedures such as Electronic Health Records will reduce the waiting time, medical errors, and promote appointments with medical specialists.

The second solution is the formulation of personal and portable medical insurances. Varshney (3), agree that citizens need a variety of medical insurance opportunities to choose from. Murphy-Knoll (206), adds that the medical insurance options should focus on the individual’s income and other social-economic aspects. Apparently, the establishment of flexible and personal medical insurance to citizens will reduce the high medical costs incurred in the course of seeking medical care. Statistically, Varshney (3), explains that the USA’s medical cost is the highest among the developed countries with the largest share paying medical bills for the uninsured citizens and immigrants. In this regard, making medical insurance personal and portable will attract all citizens from all social classes hence lowering the general costs incurred throughout seeking medical care.

Thirdly, there are numerous insurance organizations in the USA that have formed cartels to impose high insurance rates. Apparently, the lack of proper and adequate laws and regulations to monitor the activities of insurance companies has promoted the operation of cartels Murphy-Knoll (209). Therefore, the USA government should formulate state procedures, laws, and regulations that govern the provision of medical insurance services. Notably, these laws will ensure the existence of an enabling environment for a healthy business competition by all organizations that provide medical insurance (Murphy-Knoll 208). As a result, a number of medical insurance companies will be established to provide medical cover to all citizens. It will be reasonable to suggest that companies should provide their employees with an opportunity to get portable health insurance that will allow them to customize the insurance to their needs (Kongstvedt 112). As a result, opportunities for addressing possible issues with coverage are opened for employees. The specified framework implies providing staff members with a comparatively low-cost yet nonetheless efficient insurance (Green 11). It is expected that the specified step will create the foundation for a massive improvement in the overall process of managing the needs of staff members in the realm of healthcare.

The introduction of new options for healthcare staff members and nurses, in turn, is bound to lead to a steep rise in their loyalty levels to healthcare organizations in which they work. Consequently, their performance and, thus, the quality of care will increase impressively. In other words, it is crucial to ensure that the needs of both patients and staff members are addressed adequately; otherwise, the quality of care and nursing services offered to target populations is bound to drop consistently. It could be argued that the introduction of portable insurance is a lazy way of handling the issues that nurses face in the environment of a hospital since portable insurance provides limited opportunities for the reimbursement of losses and damages that healthcare staff may suffer in the context of a healthcare organization. Nevertheless, as a temporary solution, the identified step is likely to have a positive effect on the overall quality of healthcare since it will provide all stakeholders involved with the support and assistance that they need. Consequently, prerequisites for the enhancement of care and the adoption of a patient-centered approach as the path to successful treatment will become a possibility.

Lastly, the Department of Health should experiment with Medicaid. Hyman & Silver (893), postulates that Medicaid did not yield the perceived results as it was expected in the Affordable Medical Care Act as it lacked support from both the government. The pricing issue is admittedly one of the most complicated issues in the modern healthcare environment. Because of high prices set for medications by most companies, there are very few opportunities for patients to receive proper treatment and consume the medications that will allow addressing specific health issues. The fact that there is no uniform approach toward setting prices in the contemporary environment of the U.S. healthcare services also creates a significant amount of ambiguity and prevents people from receiving the medication and treatment that they need. Because of the power that organizations have over the price-setting process, in some hospitals, people may need to pay ten times the amount of money that they would have to pay for the same medicine in a different location.

Herein the primary issue regarding the management of prices lies. The monopoly of drug-producing and distributing organizations over the management of prices raises a range of concerns, yet handling it will require an impetus form state authorities. Particularly, the problem will have to be addressed on a legal level to reduce the impact that private organizations have over the management of prices in hospitals. As a result, a gradual increase in the availability of medications will be expected (Jones 39). Consequently, these two fundamental organs have to consider reinstating Medicaid to ensure quality and affordable medical care. However, the USA Department of Health must fund and monitor the progress of this program to establish its significance. Furthermore, it has to standardize the prices of medical provision and drugs. The survey conducted by Parker et al. (148), agrees with this solution since it established that the existence of price variations in terms of medical care provision and drugs has made some of the citizens to suffer due to inability to afford these drugs. Arguably, the prices of medical provision and drugs in some places are very expensive for patients in the lower strata of the society. For this reason, standardizing the prices will play a fundamental role in ensuring equal access.

By creating the environment in which patients will be able to receive the services to which they are entitled, one will be able to improve the quality of care significantly. However, to ensure a radical change in the environment of the contemporary healthcare, one will have to introduce a multidisciplinary approach. Particularly, collaboration across different areas, including the realm of healthcare, political changes, alterations in the current legislation, etc., will have to be made. Finally, the very perspective of the modern healthcare and the provision of services, as well as the approach toward meeting target populations’ needs, will have to undergo significant changes. For instance, the interdisciplinary approach mentioned above will have to be supported by a framework for intercultural communication. The specified tool will contribute to more efficient management of target audience’s needs through a better understanding thereof (Harrison and Williams 16).

Opposing View

Indeed, healthcare challenges affect all citizens in the USA. In effect, there are different solutions that have been provided by various scholars on how to solve the current problems. Specifically, Kessler & Russell (638), recommend public awareness as the best approach to address the numerous challenges in the healthcare sector. They argue that educating the general public on specific medical facilities that provide quality medical services is the best solution regardless of the cost and other logistics. Notably, the existence of poor medical services in the USA as explained above is not caused by lack of knowledge on the location of medical facilities that provide quality medical care. The problem is caused by high costs of drugs and other medical services, lack of enough medical doctors, high insurance rates, and inability to keep track of proper functioning of laid down medical procedures. In effect, the best solution to the poor medical provision in the contemporary USA as explained above will be influenced by standardization of prices of drugs and medical services, employing enough skilled and professionally competent medical doctors and nurses, provision of personal and portable medical insurance, and implementation of the Medicaid with financial support from both the Department of Health and the USA government as explained above.

Conclusion

The current problems faced during healthcare provision can be sufficiently worked out if the USA Department of Health, and the government consider the above-discussed solutions. Specifically, there is a need to employ enough and professionally qualified medical doctors, make health insurance personal and portable, formulate state procedures, laws and regulations that govern the provision of healthcare insurance to ensure an effective business competition and counter the efforts of cartels, standardization of drug and medical provision prices, and experimenting with the Medicaid with funds from the both, the department and the government. Essentially, these are the best solutions to resolve the current medical provision challenges in the USA.

It should be noted that the solutions provided above will require significant changes on cultural, financial, legal, and political levels. Seeing that the rigid control that private organizations have over price-setting, it will be crucial to loosen their grip on the issue and offer a greater amount of control to state authorities. Thus, premises for making prices more affordable will be built. Finally, the issue of leadership and management, in general, will have to be reconsidered. As a result, one will be able to create the tools for identifying the needs of a target demographic and meeting them respectively. The identified change will also require remodeling the set of principles and values based on which decision-making and management are carried out in the environment of healthcare institutions. A greater emphasis will have to be placed on establishing a connection and building efficient dialogue with all stakeholders involved, including both staff embers and patients. While the latter must be given a chance to offer their feedback about the quality of services and the issues that they typically face when using them, employees’ feedback will inform the further choice of leadership and management approaches. Thus, the foundation for offering healthcare services of the finest quality by maintaining employees’ satisfaction levels high and meeting patients’ needs successfully will be built.

Works Cited

Green, Michelle A. Understanding Health Insurance: A Guide to Billing and Reimbursement. Cengage Learning, 2018.

Harrison, Tyler, and Elizabeth Williams. Organizations, Communication, and Health. Routledge, 2015.

Hyman, David A., and Charles M. Silver. “The Poor State of Health Care Quality in the U.S.: Is Malpractice Liability Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?” SSRN Electronic Journal, 2005.

Jones, Denecia A. The Simple Reader’S Guide to Understanding the Affordable Care Act (Aca) Health Care Reform. AbbottPress, 2013.

Kessler, Rodger, and Russell E. Glasgow. “A Proposal to Speed Translation of Healthcare Research into Practice.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 40, no. 6, 2011, pp. 637-644.

Kongstvedt, Peter R. Health Insurance and Managed Care. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2015.

Mincer, Jillian. “Short on Staff: Nursing Crisis Strains U.S. Hospitals.” Reuters, 2017. Web.

Murphy-Knoll, Linda. “Low Health Literacy Puts Patients at Risk.” Journal of Nursing Care Quality, vol. 22, no. 3, 2007, pp. 205-209.

Parker, R. M., et al. “Health Literacy: A Policy Challenge for Advancing High-Quality Health Care.” Health Affairs, vol. 22, no. 4, 2003, pp. 147-153.

Varshney, Upkar. “Healthcare Systems: Challenges and Solutions.” Pervasive Healthcare Computing, 2009, pp. 1-16.