Healthcare Reform Advocacy: Promoting Universal Access to Healthcare.
1. Introduction
In “Healthcare Reform Advocacy: Promoting Universal Access to Healthcare”, it talks about the latest trends in healthcare, current opportunities to realize universal health care, and specifically what is being done for the 2019-2020 legislative session. It’s really a critical time where change can happen that can create a landscape for decades to come. At its current state, the current American healthcare system leaves millions uninsured due to being priced out of the market. Even for those with insurance there’s limited support for long term care; out of pocket expenses for chronic conditions can be financially crippling. For the population who do rely on Medicare or Medicaid and other federal assistance programs there’s a distorted establishment of a kind of care for everybody with limited support or recovery both for the physician’s side and the patient’s side. That’s why there are study upon study upon study that concludes the cost of administrative salaries and billing and overhead etcetera is so much of our dollars compared to other nations. For example, in 2016 we spent 25 billion on just administrative costs that included government spending. Well if you look at a country like Canada which has had a single payer system for years, first off the Canadians spend about half as much as we do per capita for healthcare overall. And a lot of that is because they have a single payer system. Administrative costs are lower. There is no incentivization for certain care over others based on the ability to pay. And the universal access goes up. Those are the key points. Under the first section you would discuss about the history and development; basically, what has been attempted in the past and what’s been successful and what’s not. And in particular, you really hone in on what attempts have been made towards what we call a single payer system; that’s one of the things you’ll see discussed as a potential healthcare reform that would really address universal health care access. And then finally, the meat of this which is where do we stand today. So currently healthcare reform advocacy is looking at this paradigm where we’re promoting universal access. And really that’s more feasible than ever before. We’ve made great strides in public health and sanitation and vaccines and all these things that really increase the lifespan of our citizens. But what does that mean for the current system. What are the problems associated with longevity and the need for a larger and more robust establishment of care. And so that’s kind of the before picture; that’s why when you’re looking at healthcare reform there’s new opportunities that are brought about by many of the revolutionary changes that we’ve experienced in healthcare. For example, with the advent of electronic health records there’s better coordination of care. And that means that we’re going to cut costs by not duplicative studies because we have a shared database of diagnostics. And so as you continue to explore this theme you’ll see that well why is it that we have so many political debates today and what are some of the key aspect that you have to establish when you’re talking about a change in healthcare policy. And that’s the recognition of rights, the concept of equality and the ability of an individual to receive care, but also understanding the necessity and promoting the general welfare. And so a lot of these themes actually guide healthcare reform advocacy, so you start to see how all these issues play out. And that’s generally the introduction to the topic because what we’re really focusing on as we continue through the essay is exploring key changes to healthcare policy, but also acknowledging and analyzing major themes that come out of those changes and why we’re at a point where we can make sustainable, meaningful progress towards universal health care access.
1.1 Importance of Healthcare Reform
With increasing costs of healthcare and lack of health coverage for millions of Americans, the importance of healthcare reform is continually increasing. A central principle of President Obama’s healthcare plan is the idea of expanding access to care to ensure that people can access the care that best fits their needs. Also, enhancing healthcare quality and slowing the growth of healthcare spending are other important key points. The more the resource that is spent inefficiently, the less the general welfare society gains from it, and so when that waste is reduced, society gains. Another reason mandatory healthcare is important is because the same way public safety is not complete until each individual’s rights are secured and protected, public health is not truly complete without good healthcare. Last but not least, another important point to make is the concept of decreasing the role of insurers. This suggests that health insurance companies are always going to want some type of say in what kind of care a patient receives, if any, and in order to really achieve universal healthcare. If you look into the big numbers behind a universal healthcare plan, it is also a way of helping the economy. Universal health care has the capability of benefiting the lower and middle class the most and with this increase in overall public health, outcome, and healthcare in general, the working class, or the working poor, have other options of care. Cultures and people that experience high healthcare benefits are linked to increased human capital of the society or the county and in general show a greater development of the potential that these people can reach.
1.2 Overview of Universal Healthcare Access
The concept of universal health care is often wrongly interpreted to mean that every single person is covered and medical treatment is free at the point of service. Rather, the main idea that differentiates universal health care from traditional health care is that accessible and affordable health care facilitates the achievement of a quality life. Universal health care and essential health care are quite important because they form the cornerstone of a strategy for health accessibility and poverty alleviation in developing countries. Essential health services are a floor here as indicated in a World Health Report, mandating that during a person’s life course, or over the various stages of human development, patients should receive a minimum set of services which will be a point of access to the health care system. Some of the results of poor health care accessibility and high cost are increased acuity and prevalence of disease, lost opportunities for prevention, drawn-out survival rates, and decreased productivity. Today, almost every system in the world is working under repair due to the mode of quality improvement being adopted. The World Health Organization observes that throughout the world, universal health care is advocated for incessantly but it has not been achieved in any country. For example, in the 2001 World Health Assembly had to propel significantly increased access to essential health packages of proved interventions and products as well as workforce. However, the greatest argument is that only universal health can guarantee sustainable and uninterrupted utilization of crucial health services and enable the health functioning of sick patients. This means any progress and effort will remain futile if the patient does not have access to affordable care, even if the treatment exists because it is only the prevention and management of diseases that ensures that one attains a quality life. On the other hand, for the marginalized to feel the impact of the universal health cover, significant steps in poverty alleviation including improving the quality of service is a necessity for the realization. Selected affordability is a key concept in the provision of essential health care and implementable by low-income countries, which calls for integrated and comprehensive policies for health accessibility and self-reliance on such aid. Economic powerhouses have their say only in universal health care provision. The call for all citizens to employ the new preventive and treatment services in essential health cover is a noble model in altruism and human health, and it will serve to direct limitless opportunities in revolutionary ideas by scientists and other stakeholders in the health sector. Unlimited possibilities and aspirations in health indeed define excellence in life itself. In the United States, several health care initiatives have been instituted or proposed with a view to literalize universal health care.
1.3 Significance of Affordable Care
When people have access to affordable care, they are more likely to seek medical treatment when it’s needed. This can help prevent more serious medical conditions. Those conditions may not be diagnosed until they are more advanced and harder to treat. Then, treatment is more expensive and a person is more likely to die or become very sick because of that condition. For example, affordable care allows people to obtain regular check-ups, instead of using emergency rooms for treatment. Emergency room care is very expensive, and while it is required to be provided regardless of ability to pay under federal law, emergency room physicians don’t provide ongoing treatment for chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. If these conditions are not kept in check, they can lead to life-threatening conditions like heart attacks and strokes, which can sometimes be fatal before a person can receive treatment in an emergency room. In addition, the medication required to treat some chronic conditions can be very expensive. If people can get treatment for these conditions early, it can reduce their risk for other health problems and reduce overall medical costs due to fewer complications from chronic conditions. Maintaining affordable care and the health of the population also helps protect the public. Certain serious health conditions or diseases can be spread to other people very easily, especially in a hospital setting. For example, influenza (the “flu”) is a very serious, contagious respiratory infection that can cause hospitalization and even death. People with the flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. However, it is most commonly spread to others who are in close contact. It is usually spread by droplets from a person’s nose or mouth when they cough, sneeze, or talk. By ensuring that more people have access to flu vaccines and routine medical care, the chance of a large-scale outbreak can be minimized. Public health campaigns that encourage people to get vaccinated, like the “Flu Season” education initiatives every fall, are only truly effective if the population targeted has access to affordable care, where they can obtain a vaccination for low or no cost. On the other hand, medical debt resulting from a lack of affordable care can cause long-lasting personal and financial stress. In 2017, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that about 43% of adults under age 65 say that they suffered negative health effects due to stress from medical bill worries. In the same report, about 78% of people said that they are cutting back on their budget to pay for medical bills or taking money out of savings accounts. These stressors can aggravate chronic conditions and result in more emergency room visits due to untreated medical problems, creating a cycle of stress and decreased quality of life.
2. Expanded Insurance Coverage
In the United States, the number of people who don’t have health insurance is rising. This is due to many factors, including the high cost of health insurance and unemployment. With the increasing number of people who don’t have health insurance, it’s important that the country work toward expanded insurance coverage so that everyone gets the coverage they need. Such expanded coverage would include not just adding people to an insurance plan, but making the insurance comprehensive and more inclusive overall. Currently, health insurance plans are selective about what they cover and how much they cost. Expanded insurance coverage would make it so all plans – and all people – have more consistent coverage. With new healthcare changes, the United States is on the right path toward achieving expanded insurance coverage. For example, the Affordable Care Act that passed in 2010 will provide many new opportunities for people to get coverage. This is especially true for adults with ongoing medical conditions and children. The act will: (1) help people with pre-existing conditions get coverage, through new “high-risk pools” and more choices through state exchanges; (2) expand Medicaid insurance to cover more people; (3) expand benefits and reduce costs for families through national plans and more competition; and (4) increase funding to community health centers. However, the bill is not all inclusive; an estimated 23 million people will remain uncovered when the bill is fully in place by 2019. It will be up to healthcare providers, politicians, and the public to continue working to reach everyone that needs healthcare coverage.
2.1 Ensuring Coverage for All
Presently, many insurance policies have substantial gaps in coverage – especially for preventive and primary care services. However, reforming this critical issue will guarantee each patient access to the care that health professionals recommend to maintain and improve health. For example, those with pre-existing conditions who either cannot purchase insurance or can only purchase it at an exorbitant price may be locked out of the health insurance market. In addition to statutory measures such as the Patient’s Bill of Rights – which provides new protections, such as the prohibition of lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits and the guarantee that insurance policies renew if the patient remains covered under the policy – we need a comprehensive legislative package. The right set of reforms can change the current system where the opportunity to purchase reasonably-priced, high-value insurance that provides seamless access to comprehensive care is too often a “hit or miss” proposition. Universal access to care will reduce the health disparities that can and do exist for those lacking the ability to access care on a regular basis. This is a clear goal of meaningful health care reform. If each patient has truly equal access to preventive care, medical professionals “will be better able to address and manage chronic conditions, lessening the reliance on increased state costs and state-sponsored benefits.” Also, both the doctor-patient relationship and different treatment modalities could become more patient-centered, as holistic treatments are more attractive when cost is less of an object due to universal access to care. Well-informed treatments that focus on overall health and long-term maintenance become a more viable option when all forms of care and levels of interventions are more widely available.
2.2 Addressing Gaps in Insurance Policies
The private health insurance market often does not offer policies that cover all healthcare services. In addition to not offering comprehensive insurance coverage, there may be waiting periods before certain benefits are available, or coverage might exclude pre-existing medical conditions. This means that certain individuals or groups, such as older adults or those with chronic health conditions, may struggle to obtain health insurance because of high premiums, or be left without coverage for particular conditions. Government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, exist to help fill such gaps. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources, and it offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, such as nursing home care and personal care services. On the other hand, Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, have certain disabilities and people of all ages with end-stage renal disease. However, these public health insurance options result in a patchwork of different benefits provided in different ways, and not all individuals or groups can access them. For example, in some states there may be eligibility criteria to receive Medicaid, and there might be waiting periods for program benefits. This means that people who currently have gaps in insurance coverage are likely to have unmet health needs, and are more likely to enter the healthcare system late for treatment of severe health conditions. By that point, treatment is typically more costly and complex. The wider community can also be affected in a number of ways, including the cost of healthcare services that they bear through higher insurance premiums, lost productivity and economic burden on the families of those affected.
2.3 Benefits of Comprehensive Coverage
A comprehensive coverage has a range of benefits and is the best way to ensure that you will be well protected against all types of unforeseen accidents and illnesses, even for routine care. Comprehensive coverage guarantees peace of mind, reducing the sporadic and unpredictable nature of healthcare costs. Someone with comprehensive coverage can access all the services they require without having to undergo restrictive insurance checks to determine if they qualify for a particular treatment or appointment. This ensures that any recommended tests, treatments and consultations can take place soon after they have been deemed necessary. Moreover, a comprehensive policy means that an individual has access to care that reflects the latest discoveries and developments in medical science. New medications and treatments are often added to the market and they can be considered to be a genuine option for patients in certain cases, especially in some of the more serious illnesses. Having comprehensive health insurance means any of these new developments can be considered as part of a recommended treatment plan, providing patients with the confidence that they are accessing the very best care. It is worth noting that one of the main benefits of comprehensive coverage is that it includes what is known as ‘preventative’ care. This umbrella term covers any kind of medical service or intervention that is aimed at warding off serious health problems in the first place – like a flu vaccination. Most private health insurance providers will offer incentive schemes and the like to promote the use of preventative care, such as the offer of discounts on gym memberships, as these are generally seen as much cheaper alternatives to treating major health issues later in life. With nobody having to pay the costs for the accident out of their own pockets, comprehensive coverage especially doesn’t bring any anxieties and lay a good foundation for effective fleet safety and mitigate the poor impact from the risks. Health is an unpredictable treasure; thorough and proper healthcare solution can never be neglected. With the various benefits and comprehensiveness of this coverage, we hope that we can gain stronger protection and support in our lives. It is time for us to equip ourselves with a quality and comprehensive plan for our wellbeing.
3. Reduced Medical Costs
There are several strategies through which the medical costs can be reduced. The first and foremost step in this regard is to introduce advanced and more comprehensive methods of delivering healthcare. For example, replacing the traditional paper-based patient records with digitized electronic records can significantly reduce the overall medical expenses. It not only reduces the duplication of tests but also the healthcare providers can get the patient history quickly, which ultimately increases patient safety. Secondly, there is also a need to focus on increasing the influence of primary care on the healthcare system. As a matter of fact, primary care helps the patients in a way that timely interventions and preventive care keep the patients healthy and they can live a better and more active life. On the other hand, if needed, timely reference to secondary care can prevent complications and save a lot of time and money. Studies have shown that areas with higher levels of primary care have fewer hospitalizations from ambulatory care-sensitive conditions. This leads to both improved patient health and reduced medical costs. In addition to this, healthcare providers should emphasize educating the patients about the lifestyle changes necessary for the prevention of certain ailments and also to reduce the progress of chronic diseases to save healthcare expenses. Finally, healthcare fraud and abuse is a serious cost driver that needs to be addressed. According to an estimate, the financial impact of healthcare fraud is around $60 billion per year. If we add the amount of lost lives due to wrong treatments, then it will become a very alarming figure. Both individuals and the whole healthcare system suffer from healthcare fraud. So there is a need for better technology and stricter legislation with harsher penalties in order to facilitate the detection and deter fraudulent practices.
3.1 Strategies for Cost Containment
Managed care, a system of delivering healthcare that is designed to control costs, focuses on providing quality care in the most cost-effective setting and has become the most common form of health insurance in the United States. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are types of managed care plans that are intended to reduce healthcare costs by establishing key methods to ensure that patients receive appropriate care for their ailments. Cost containment in these managed care plans is achieved through a variety of mechanisms that have the ultimate goal of controlling the utilization of, or the cost of, healthcare services. These mechanisms include monitoring the provision of care by healthcare professionals in practice parameters, such as practice guidelines in the form of “critical paths” or “clinical paths” that map out the steps that should be followed in treating patients with a given condition and may help to limit unnecessary testing and diagnostic procedures. A competitive, free market system also helps to contain the cost of healthcare. With healthcare providers and payers competing for business, there is an implicit pressure to keep the cost of services down and to provide more cost-effective cures. The government has put such strategies in place with the introduction of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which is an act by the congress of the United States on the 21st of August 1996. This act is aimed at defining and establishing the standards of safeguards for electronically stored health information. By introducing such strategies, experts believe that the future will see a growing role for information technology in the cost containment of healthcare; the computerized information systems will yield more and more clinical and financial data that will allow for better monitoring and ultimately reduction of costs across the board in the healthcare industry. However, Cutler (2004) argued that IT is largely unexploited and that healthcare costs can be reduced with IT. He believes that the biggest expense is in the form of outpatient or ambulatory care and that this is what can be controlled to reduce the cost of healthcare. He also claimed that by using IT, many unnecessary tests and procedures ordered by different providers could be reduced and he estimated that savings from the reduction of redundant or incorrect services may reach a hundred billion dollars or more every year. The monitoring of the provision of care by healthcare professionals must comply with practice parameters, such as practice guidelines in the form of “critical paths” or “clinical paths”. These guidelines map out the steps that should be followed in treating patients with a given condition and is to help to limit unnecessary testing and diagnostic procedures. These types of constraints to full professional autonomy are increasing and some physician groups are actively seeking to control the production of guidelines and other forms of pathway (Freund and Jones, 1996). The role of standardization in controlling costs is also outlined in practice guideline development and deployment graphic (Freund and Jones, 1996). This demonstrates that the creation and modification of practice guidelines involve repeated cycles of systematically derived evidence and authoritative consensus to effect successful implementation. Evidence-based medicine can provide practical solutions in this area and the synthesis of various types of medical information serves to produce clinical parameters that assist in enhancing the provision of successful cost containment-oriented care across the United States (Freund and Jones, 1996).
3.2 Enhancing Efficiency in Healthcare Delivery
Another significant focus in medical reform is the drive to enhance the efficiency of the medical system. There are many policies that target this goal, and many are necessary in order to grasp the full scope of the inefficiency of the current system. These include a focus on integrating electronic health records, generating a push for using cheaper and less invasive treatments, and an effort to help healthcare delivery take on a more patient-centered approach. Currently, the “fee-for-service” system that most healthcare providers use does not encourage overtreatment per a financial reward, but it can incentivize care that does not actually lead to the best outcomes for a patient. By driving efforts to improve electronic health systems and putting into place more clear and direct measures of exactly what constitutes effective, high-impact care, many argue that the system can start to deliver more quality care for less money. The Politico article “5 Must Knows About Health Care Efficiency” presents it as a key issue with efficiency – namely, that there are subsidies for care and treatment that have little support in terms of health outcomes. With this information, I went ahead and compared this argument with the view of efficiency outlined in the article “Advancing the Science of Improvement” by the Institute of Medicine. This article adopts a more holistic definition of efficiency, arguing that we have to consider the needs and goals of the healthcare system as a whole – not just what can be most cheaply offered. Grpc, technology, and efficiency. The writer is a science and health policy major, so it is safe to assume that she might promote the role of technology and research in promoting efficiency in the American healthcare system. But this is not the kind of “efficiency” that the Institute of Medicine article is talking about – it emphasizes a broader improvement, not unlike the reform goals listed in the article’s summary of the “National Quality Strategy”. The “National Quality Strategy” is the first effort to translate widespread knowledge regarding what the best interventions are into concrete betterments of the medical system: that is to say, it is an effort to galvanize efficiency gains that are characterized by the better use of new knowledge and technology. In short, this response shows how digital healthcare delivery systems have the potential to catalyze efficiency and better care, as the “5 Must Knows” article argues. However, it also demonstrates the importance of understanding efficiency as not just about finding low-cost solutions, but as about connecting up the standards of good care with innovations and new magnitude of available health knowledge. In my opinion, I feel like the government could also take an active role in promoting efficiency. By expanding upon current programs and offering incentives or reimbursements to practices that adopt and utilize more effective and cheaper care, it’s possible that the United States could make greater strides in improving the medical experience. And if the article had discussed any policies that addressed this, it’s possible that a suggestion for the implementation of healthcare reform could have been made in light of the efficiency argument.
3.3 Importance of Preventive Care
Another important strategy in the aim of reducing medical costs is the promotion of preventive care services. Preventive care involves the use of a range of services that help people avoid or survive serious illnesses by detecting and treating disease early before it can progress. Compared with the costs of diagnosing and treating illnesses, the cost of preventive care is very low. However, despite the potential for savings in the long term, the lack of accessibility (which was explored in section 3.1) to preventive services has limited their use. Universal access to preventive services is part of ensuring a population-wide good standard of healthcare. At the moment, the introduction of preventive care services is minimal and most expenditure in healthcare is on diagnosing and treating chronic diseases. However, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is clear that providing effective preventive services that are utilized by even a small percentage of the population can mean significant cost savings compared with the treatment of such chronic conditions as diabetes and heart disease. For example, in 2010 it is estimated that the United States would have saved $7.1 billion in medical costs if 10% of adults over 50 with diabetes had received prevention support arising from the Diabetes Prevention Program. In 2016, the same analysis projected that that figure would have risen to $10.7 billion in savings. It has been clearly shown that not only is the adoption of preventive care services beneficial to people’s health, it proves to be a cost-effective strategy in the long term in reducing healthcare expenditure as a nation.
3.4 Reducing Administrative Expenses
A major focus of many healthcare administrative reform proposals has been to streamline or eliminate unnecessary administrative processes and costs. A common argument posits that an increase in the funding of public health insurance programs over the past decade is likely to have led to a decrease in the administrative costs of serving previously uninsured patients. This is because, unlike private health insurance programs, which pass on excess administrative costs to patients through the form of higher overall medical prices, public programs like Medicare and Medicaid are more efficient. For example, one recent analysis has argued that administrative costs for the Medicare program were about 2% of the amount spent on the program over a recent 5-year period. In contrast, across the entire spectrum of mostly private health insurance programs in the United States, administrative costs are much higher, averaging around 12-14% of medical costs. The study found that this discrepancy reflects the fact that private health insurance programs traditionally spend much more on non-medical costs – including administrative salaries, marketing, and profits for shareholders – than government-funded programs do. Both direct and indirect administrative costs are higher for activities relating to private insurance compared to public insurance. In particular, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has identified specific significant examples of waste in private health insurance programs that do not exist in the public sector. For instance, time-consuming provider activities – such as the need to maintain current knowledge of varied private and public health plan rules and compliance requirements – are directly linked to the complex and fragmented nature of the private health insurance market. This could make it less likely that physicians will have the necessary resources to provide treatment that corresponds to the best available evidence-based guidelines. The analysis also suggested that dissipation of administrative time and resources associated with private health insurance is an obvious attendant risk when eligibility demands different compliance rules and documentation standards between competing plans. Through improving efficiency in medical treatment by simplifying administrative protocols and avoiding the proliferation of complex private health plan-specific rules for medical service delivery, the analysis argued, public health insurance expansion can deliver increased value for money.
4. Building a Sustainable Healthcare System
Why the sustainability of the healthcare system is important. The existing unsustainable healthcare system is not capable of providing better health facilities, so to improve the current situation the healthcare system must be sustainable. The quality, safety, and necessary time spent with patients. Also, it refers to meeting current and future quality and environmental standards. By the sustainable healthcare system, the intended meaning includes a range of benefits that flow from a well-funded, effectively managed, and comprehensive healthcare service. When a healthcare system is sustainable, then it can provide the best and appropriate care which can enhance the patient’s health. It tends to provide better health and play a significant role in decreasing healthcare costs as well. In essence, a focus on sustainability dominates the healthcare landscape and service efficiency changes, research priorities and methods of measuring success, at both levels of policy and of frontline care. In order to maintain and ensure the modern healthcare system, physically and financially, it is necessary to consider healthcare system sustainability as a privileged objective and an organizational clinical and public health. However, it is clear that whilst providing the clinical service to individuals seeking care, it is important to ensure the future of the service. All necessary steps should be done to reduce the waste and overuse of resources through the application of some innovative thinking and improved practices, thus leading to a more sustainable healthcare system. Foster a more efficient and integrated care system in the future and benefit not only to society and the environment but sustainability is a widely recognized subject in the present world of health. It plays as an index for the development of new system so by further testing and greater acquisition, new test and measurement angles of sustainability may become work, improving services as a result.
4.1 Long-Term Funding and Financial Stability
The text provides an assessment of the current implementation of health technology in the context of achieving a more financially sustainable practice, and further offers insightful discussions that the interconnectedness of healthcare is essential in financial stability initiatives. Other than that, discussing and exploring the potential changes in technology landscape and computing capacity aids in keeping the focus forward on achieving financial stability and improved patient care.
The text explores the potential of linking meaningful use of electronic health records to practice success in alternative payment models. However, the text highlights that physicians are facing challenges in being engaged in practice affiliated health information exchanges in certain areas, which is necessary to achieve more financial benefits from advancing care information under current Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation.
The concept of health technology also plays a major role in achieving financial stability in healthcare. The text highlights that financial incentives through adopting and effectively using electronic health records and health information technology solutions are provided for practices and hospitals. The use of electronic health records, or EHR, is said to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes and that experts believe that in the long run, EHR will lead to a more financially sustainable practice as well.
In an effort to reduce medical costs and increase care efficiency, specialists and hospital networks may form accountable care organizations that shift the focus of healthcare from volume to value by coordinating patient care and improving cost control. The text outlines that a sustained effort in coordinating patient care and controlling the cost of healthcare is necessary to achieving financial stability.
Another important aspect in building a sustainable healthcare system is to have long-term funding and financial stability in place. Here, the document emphasizes that patient populations are continuously changing and that maintaining financial stability requires regular assessment of design and implementation of patient payment models. The text explores the concept of changing patient populations and how alternative payment models and the development of strategies may achieve long-term financial stability.
4.2 Strengthening Primary Care Services
Strengthening primary care services is regarded as a critical aspect of any effort to build a sustainable healthcare system. It is so important that transitions of primary care have been emphasized for over a decade. The primary care services include family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, and preventive services. The role of primary care not only concentrates on the health of people in a community but it also produces a secondary effect of a more rational healthcare cost. In addition, when we talk about building a sustainable healthcare system, primary care also leads to better human resources in health. “Healthcare Reform Advocacy: Promoting Universal Access to Healthcare” is a comprehensive guide that explores the importance of healthcare reform and the promotion of universal access to healthcare. The table of contents highlights the key areas covered in the guide.
4.3 Investing in Health Information Technology
The health information technology (health IT) system is a platform that enables healthcare information to be stored, collected, and shared in a secure environment. By ensuring that the right information is made available to the right people at the right time, this system can improve the quality and safety of healthcare. So why should we invest in health IT when there are so many other infrastructure and healthcare improvements that are needed? The fact of the matter is that health information technology is already making a difference in the way healthcare is done. For example, an electronic register that is updated by medical professionals as different levels of care are needed, which is linked to an electronic care pathway, can be used to deliver comparably effective choices for treating a condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Also, General Practitioners (GPs) can access digital images and diagnostic results that are electronically stored in a central data warehouse. As a result, it can aid healthcare professionals in deciding which treatment is the right one for the patient and it may alleviate the burden on some acute care services.

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