This research seeks to investigate how the quality of healthcare in the United States compares to that in other industrialized nations, like France or the United Kingdom. Is the healthcare accessed by each American? Is the current medical technology affecting communication between healthcare providers and patients? These and many more other questions are what this study seeks to answer. This research is of great importance, because healthcare is an issue that affects all people globally, and not just American citizens. It is important to look at how healthcare can be assured to all people globally. There have been various research carried out by individual researchers as well as other institutions on this topic. The scholars have more or less agreed about my topic, and my paper argues for a better interpretation.
The methodology, which this study has utilized, is that of comparative case study. The research utilizes the benefits of using comparative case studies in the topic of discussion, which is the quality of healthcare in the United States. Information dealing with this research topic is in abundance. By looking on previous researches and studies, this research ascertains various comparisons made concerning healthcare in the industrialized world. The study also discusses the pros and cons on the value of credentialing by an independent organization to a managed care organization and to consumers.
This research has ascertained that, the United States lags behind in matters dealing with the quality of healthcare. A report released by a D.C. based healthcare foundation known as The Commonwealth Fund, ranks the United States as the last, among other six industrialized nations. The reasons given for this occurrence are that, the healthcare in the United States is not accessed by everyone, in addition to being poorly efficient (Mahar, 2006). Despite the fact that the government currently allocates a huge amount of the budget towards healthcare, it is saddening to know that there are no results coming forth. The United States has the highest expenditure per capita of all those countries. However, it is the United States that has a higher infant mortality rate, as well as lower life expectancy.
The first in the list is the Netherlands, who spend nearly half of what the United States does. The other industrialized nations in the list make sure that healthcare is easily accessible to their citizens. They do this through ensuring that there are better ties between physicians and patients, and also through universal insurance systems. The United States need a lot of reforms so as to catch up with the rest of the industrialized world.
The research has also established that in Japan, the life expectancy at birth is 83, Canada stands at 81, while the United States has 78 years. It is important to note that all these countries have different systems that provide universal healthcare systems for their citizens. In the United Kingdom, for example, universal healthcare is being funded by tax. Moreover, it has hospitals that are owned by the government, in addition to the National Health Service. All the patients get to choose their doctors.
Medical care is different in Japan. The hospitals are private, and the healthcare is funded through insurance companies that are non-profit. The Japanese choose their doctor, and the service is easily accessible. As for those who cannot afford insurance premiums, the government pays for them. In Canada, all the citizens are covered without regards to their income status. Their healthcare system is funded through corporate taxes and income. On the other hand, Germany has a universal healthcare system that is funded through the Sickness Fund. This is a non-profit social insurance system. Both employers and employees pay half of the premiums; the government tries to cut the cost. Many Americans have no health insurance while those who have are paying more than the past years.
The question to be asked by each concerned American is how can an acceptable quality of health care be assured for all? A healthcare plan that is inclusive of all U.S. citizens is the solution to health issues that the United States. This is very important because a solution is needed to cater for all those who are uninsured or under-insured.
All Americans need to be educated, as well as be informed of health matters so as to maintain their health. Currently, the cost of healthcare in the United States is around two trillion dollars (Robin, Martinez, & Michael 2010). About thirty percent is never seen by the recipients. It is important to note that about forty million Americans are locked out of the system; they have no health insurance (Wolf, 2010). Many are not employed, meaning that programs aimed at employers do not help this group.
This study has established that, there is an increase in demand for healthcare that is of a high quality. However, it should be noted that the quality of healthcare is affected by many issues like the quality of training, infrastructure, the efficiency of professional systems, as well as, the competence of personnel. A system that is patient-oriented is what should be adopted.
To achieve all this objectives, it is important that there is development and sustenance of a system that is sensitive to the needs of the patient. It is imperative that the government pays attention to quality, in every angle of patient care. It is important that the latest technologies be applied to improve the quality of healthcare. This should be done referring to the cost-efficiency. Medicine that cost less should be availed to each individual. The medical system should have equipment that are properly maintained and in place.
In the rural areas, the government should adopt an integrated approach that addresses personal as well as population healthcare needs. A support structure should be put in place that establishes a higher quality of rural health systems. The capacity of the rural human resource should be enhanced. This includes, giving out education, training, in addition to deploying healthcare professionals. The rural communities should be prepared to actively get involved with improving their healthcare.
Moreover, the rural health care systems should be monitored so as to make sure to that they are financially stable. The capital for system redesign should be secured. The government should also try investing in building information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. This infrastructure should have a potential that enhances health and health care in future.
It is imperative that both the public sector and private organizations pursue strategies that are aimed at providing an improved quality of healthcare. An example of this strategy is that of pay-for-performance. It is apparent that there is an urgent need for fundamental transformation of the healthcare in the United States. There needs to be tremendous changes in the payment system. Primary care should commensurate, due to the fact that it provides the best value. Medical school students should also be trained to provide good primary care training. Government funds should be directed at eliminating debt for individuals who go into primary care, especially in areas that are underserved. Moreover, funds should also be channeled to growing primary care residency programs.
The government needs to invest in primary care, prevention and wellness. Insurance markets should be reformed so that the insurance companies don't turn down sick people. Every American needs to get access to affordable health insurance. Healthcare benefit structures should be changed so that all insurers pay for wellness programs. They should not be focused on just treating patients once they get sick.
There are those advocating for provision of data that touch on patient outcomes, compliance with national standards for preventive and chronic care, and comparative costs to the public. They take this to be an acceptable measure of healthcare delivery outcomes. On the other hand, there are those who do not agree with this process. Physicians believe that they are the only ones to judge the quality of hospital medical care. In their view, participation in such hospital peer review activities is a disagreeable obligation. So, what were the problems associated with this process.
There are regulations which state that health data relating to a patient should not be availed to him or her. This is especially if it has a possibility of causing serious harm to the mental or physical health. An individual who is not a physician should not give out health data to patients without health professionals' permission
However, in my own opinion, organizations should create a procedure that data, when requested and clarification given can be made available to the concerned parties. If any type of medical data is sought, medical officers should make clarifications as to whether the data can be made public directly.
This study has established that, Managed Care Organization (MCO) credentialing, by the National Committee on Quality Assurance, rapidly evolved as a standard of quality in the industry. There are advantages, as well as, disadvantages on the value of credentialing by an independent organization to a managed care organization and to consumers. However, for physicians, credentialing is a necessary activity in order to participate in care plans that are being managed.
It follows that, managed care organizations must successfully select, and then keep hold of qualified health care providers. They will now provide quality services to their customers or subscribers. It is this process of selecting and retention that is called credentialing. It is the process of reviewing and verifying information of a health care provider interested in participating, side by side, with a managed care organization. The review and verification is a process that includes the current professional licenses, verification of education, post-graduate education, levels of liability insurance, in addition to hospital staff privileges. Moreover, credentialing includes an office audit. An employee of an insurance company employee, a health care professional, carries out such site visits.
Another finding of the study is that, credentialing ensures that applicants meet the requirements, in addition to determining whether the credentials of the applicant credentials are appropriate or not. Regulations, accreditation standards and other laws require MCOs to carry out the same credentialing standards that hospitals carry out. Credentialing that is effective has several advantages for an MCO: accreditation, risk management, immunity from lawsuits of providers, and positive marketing to individuals who want to purchase health care consumers, policies, as well as, potential member providers.
This study has found out that, this is a process that would allow many physicians to keep a database of all of their information. This will of course be in a standardized format. They will also be able to send the same application information to each and every managed care organization. This will limit the long hours physicians spend in completion of credentialing applications, in addition to compiling information.
Moreover, effective credentialing will enable MCOs to grow and prosper. The benefits are many to the MCOs; there is positive marketing, a decrease in liability risk for issues like negligent credentialing and malpractice, or immunities from physician lawsuits. However, one disadvantage of credentialing is that, it takes time and effort to complete.
On the other hand, a well-established credentialing process attracts the best health care professionals. They want to be associated with an MCO that has set high standards for selection. Health care professionals appreciate a credentialing process that is proper and timely. This means that the MCO will then attract more health care consumers and purchasers. This then increases the provider's patient base. The information is considered in the determination of whether the practitioner is accepted into the MCO's practitioner panel or not.
The question being asked by many is whether communication between patients and physicians can be affected by medical technology. There are commendable and helpful advances in medical technology. However, communication between physicians and their patients has remained to be an important aspect in giving out competent medical care. The training of future physicians should focus on communication between doctor and patient.
There have been numerous researches that point to the fact that communication is an issue linked to quality health care. Studies also show that mutual communication between patients and physicians translate to favorable biomedical outcomes. There exists a lasting relationship between the quality of patient physician communication and the patient's satisfaction with the health-care.
Another finding of the study is that, medical technology is comprised of a wide variety of healthcare products. It is used in diagnosing, monitoring, and treating medical conditions which affect the human body. These technologies are aimed at improving the quality of healthcare that is delivered and also the patient outcome through diagnosis, rehabilitation times, treatment that are less invasive, and reductions in hospitalization.
This research has established that, medical technology is very important because it extends and improves the lives of humanity. It alleviates handicap, injury and pain. Its plays a very important role in healthcare. Many patients globally depend on medical technology everywhere. However, despite the fact that the training physicians get in communication, there are numerous complaints about poor communication between patients and physicians.
On their part, patients usually feel overwhelmed, as well as intimidated, in the medical field. On the other hand, physicians also express frustration in cases where patients experience difficulties in communicating their symptoms. The patients are also inadequate in their description of their needs of medical visit.
However, despite all this, it is important to note that medical technologies are the most visible and familiar expression, in modern life, about the power of biomedicine. They play an essential role in birth, work life, death, family relations, and aging. This means that the quality of healthcare is improved.
Despite the fact that more complex technologies exist in the Western world, there are other varieties of technological systems that can exist in any other society. Medical technologies can change and replace bodily function. Instruments can be applied to get information, monitor it, and give a report to experts. Medical technology is associated with dramatic transformations in governance, labor and life.
The research has ascertained that, technology is studied as part and parcel of the material culture of any society. Medical technologies that are designed to detect, diagnose, as well as monitor variability has become important in the collection of information concerning individuals and a population. This means that technologies have become an integral part in creating understandings of the processes associated with disease, and the well-being of a patient. This is in terms of the type of information they harvest, the way interventions can change existing conditions, and the way any cultural assumption is built. Moreover, products of technology do frame the way people think about risk, or how they understand existing human relations, or make future plans and aspirations.
There have been a lot of concerns on the part of policy makers on potential problems of the quality and access of health care to the public. A healthcare reform bill has been signed into law (Marmor, & White, 2009). It is important that the bill makes effective the many provisions that have been stated. Incentives should be provided to businesses so that they give out healthcare benefits. Moreover, there should be establishment of health insurance exchanges that makes sure insurers support medical research. All Americans need to be covered by the healthcare. While the achievements cannot be felt all over sudden, reforms should continue to take place until the United States achieves a medical care that is of high quality.