American Healthcare System

According to Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey, the American healthcare system is not functioning properly. He considers that the stakeholders (Including providers, policymakers, consumers, insurers, businesses, labor force, pharmaceutical industry, etc), are aware about this. There are several signs that the American Healthcare system is not functioning. More than 50 million of the population is either uninsured or underinsured. There are several variations in the existing quality of care, patient safety, etc.

Preventable medical errors are causing thousands of deaths each year and there are several cases of medical malpractice being filed. Cross cultural competence of the American Healthcare system also seems to be poor, and several diseases which are preventable (through an appropriate lifestyle) are consuming millions of dollars each year through complex life-saving treatment. Hence, as there requires being certain changes in the American healthcare system in order to improve its efficiency, effectiveness and ensure that people can affordable use it. Dr. Mourey has suggested the blueprint of change.

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These include the following measures:- 1. Covering the uninsured – Today several billions of dollars are being spend on the uninsured. These segments of the population are often using the emergency department services unnecessarily as they need not pay for such services. To absorb the costs, hospitals are indulging in cost-shifting, often making it unaffordable for the other segments of the population. Besides, if the helath of 50 million uninsured populations is actually destabilized, it would have a serious effect on the national economy (which may even be unsustainable).

2. Improving the quality, equality and value of healthcare – According to Dr. Mourey, although the costs of treatment in the US are quite high compared to other countries, it does not reflect on the quality of care. People in several countries are paying lesser for better quality treatment in several other countries of the world. The quality of care does not seem to be reliable, safe and fair. Several problems exist with cross-cultural issues, poor coverage and access to care, etc.

Hence, efforts should be made to improve the quality of care, access to healthcare facilities, and lower the costs of treatment. 3. Lowering the costs of care – There may be several steps needed to reduce the costs of care and make it more affordable. Currently, the cost of healthcare in the US is rising to an unsustainable level. Newer business models need to be followed. Cost-shifting done to cover the uninsured and other segments of the population, should be done away with and instead universal health coverage needs to be adopted.

It would also be advisable to reduce the margin of profits that the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies are making. 4. Greater emphasis on prevention – Lifestyle changes, health promotion, wellness management and preventive healthcare can effectively help to lower the costs. Today huge amounts are being paid on treating patients, which may be difficult to sustain. Prevention is one of the means of overcoming the high costs, and reducing the risk for serious disease in the population. 5.

The American Public helath system which can otherwise play a very important role in protecting the population against disease and disasters need to be strengthened – Frequently the public helath facilities do not have the resources in terms of infrastructure, modern equipment, money and support systems. The policymakers have ignored this sector from a long-time. It needs to be understood that the public helath system can play a very important role in preventing and treating diseases. Such sectors can even reach the far-flung corners of the country.

Hence, greater emphasis should be laid on improving the public health framework in the US. 6. Affecting the social determinants of health – There are several non-clinical and social determinants of health which are not a part of the healthcare system, but form an important role in improving the health of the population. These include housing, education, transportation, banking, etc. These factors if provided may play an important role in improving the health status of the population. Studies have shown that if social determinants are provided, it would be an added benefit to health (RWJF, 2008). 2.

Choose 1 of the states highlighted in States Moving Toward Comprehensive Health Care Reform, and briefly discuss how that statea€™s reform efforts are or are not in line with the 6 points of the a€? RWJF Blueprint for Changea€?. One of the states moving towards Comprehensive Health Care Reform is Pennsylvania (PA). In the year 2007, the Governor of PA Edward Rendell made huge efforts towards a compressive healthcare reform in PA. The Governor brought out the proposed ‘Prescription for Pennsylvania, Cover All Pennsylvanians (CAP)’ to cover all the people of the state to provide healthcare, reduce costs and improve quality of care.

The state is making all efforts to reduce the number of insured. They are initiating a plan to cover all individuals with an income less than 300 % of the poverty level. They are also mandating insurance for all individuals with an income above 300 % of the poverty level. Students and children would be provided with insurance and the private insurance sector would be reformed to reduce costs and improve coverage. The Governor has established an equity office as a part of the Department of Public Health. The state has initiated a separate office to manage all issues regarding chronic diseases and long-term care.

The shortage in healthcare professionals would be solved by ensuring that the current staff can use their skills and knowledge to the fullest. Patient safety and the quality of coverage would also be improved. Efforts would be on to reduce preventable medical errors by stopping the insurance coverage to such hospitals. The CAP program also aims to cover a significant portion of the uninsured population. These measures which are initiated by the PA Healthcare authorities are in line with the blueprint of change proposed by Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey. These can be seen as steps towards ensuring universal health coverage (Kaiser Commission, 2008).

References

Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (2008). States Moving Toward Comprehensive Health Care Reform. Retrieved April 26, 2009 from Web site: http://www. kff. org/uninsured/kcmu_statehealthreform. cfm Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (2008). States Moving Toward Comprehensive Health Care Reform- Pennsylvania. Retrieved April 26, 2009 from Web site: http://www. kff. org/uninsured/statehealthreform/pa. cfm Lavizzo-Mourey, R. (2009). The Road to Reform. Retrieved April 26, 2009 from Web site: http://www. rwjf. org/files/research/2008presidentsmessageannualreport. pdf