Structure and the Vulnerable Groups
There are three factors that compromise the delivery of healthcare in the United States. These factors are the fragmentation of the delivery of healthcare services to the general public, limited access to the services offered and increasing costs incurred by the public when reaching out for these services. The compromising factors have an impact on the selected groups within the American population. The first group centers on patients who have complicated health care requirements on a long-term basis. This group consists of a section of patients who suffer from incurable long-term condition like heart ailments, cancer, diabetes Insipidus and diabetes mellitus. Secondly, low income earners are also affected by the compromising issues. In most cases, they lack health insurance cover in addition to having limited social support (Brown, 2009, p.1).
This paper discusses various issues based on the three factors that can be related to the health. They include quality, expenditure and access. These factors are further affected by an internal factor of population and population growth rate. To add on that, the external factors income and the rate of employment also affect the factors mentioned earlier.
Strategic Planning and Implications
Strategic planning refers to the step by step planning, budgeting and implementation of the steps put forward in the health mandate. Strategic planning is said to go hand in hand with higher operating cost margins, increased profits and efficient planning within organizations in rural healthcare (Thorpe &Ogden, 2010, p.1).
The healthcare delivery system structure needs to prioritize the needs of the population of patients who a have complex health issues and those who are vulnerable to such conditions. If the structure focuses on the improvement of this sector in terms of delivery, it will be easier for the federal government and the stakeholders concerned to realize developments in other departments within the health sector. For instance, focusing on the vulnerable populations will ensure that they have the ability to access health services very fast. Additional emergency departments will b e established to cater for those cases which are in dire need of medical attention. Consequently, the government can find economic mechanisms to create incentives on the prices of health services to reduce the spiraling costs. The high costs prevent the low income earners from regularly accessing health services.
According to data acquired from federal sources, an estimated 5 percent of the population in America accounts for nearly half the cost of what the country spends on the provision of healthcare costs (Bohmer & Lee, 2009, p. 2). Consequently, approximately ten percent costs the country 65 percent of the entire expenditure on healthcare. The high costs result from patients who have functional limitations hence they require long term medical care. In addition, they need supportive devices and services to sustain their lives. Such patients have multiple and severe chronic conditions.
Financing Health Care Service Delivery
Funding is the most important element in the provision of healthcare. All health operations depend on the available funds set aside by the government for the provision of health care services. According to information derived from FedStats, the state governments spend nearly 500000 or more dollars in the healthcare sector for every financial budgetary period. The variations arise from the fact that the states have different populations and population growth rates. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers support to two different agencies which monitor the level of countrywide spending in the health sector. Keeping statistical data on spending is important because it helps most organizations to device mechanisms of reducing spending while improving efficiency at the same time (The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, 2009, p. 3)
There are several difficulties encountered in improving the provision of health care services. First, there is existing imbalance between the rate at which the American population needs health services, and the amount of money available to be spent on such provisions. As a result, there is a strain on the available resources which lowers the quality of services offered in some health facilities.
Additionally, majority of low income earners suffer from chronic diseases hence they need frequent and expensive medical care. They lack adequate pension to cater for these medical needs which negatively affects the provision of health services since there are no resources to take care of them. Pension is important since it helps to take care of the fundamental needs of individuals after they are out of employment, health being among the primary needs. With better pension schemes offered to such low income earners and insurance policies set up at affordable rates, they have the ability to access health care services whenever they have retired from their jobs.
The barriers can be dealt with if the government sets up measure to prevent the spread of chronic diseases. For instance, people can be encouraged to lead healthier lifestyles through public awareness campaigns. The government can also institute mechanisms of improving the rate of employment and job provision in the country. Higher rates of employment will guarantee better income hence a large section of the population will have access to better healthcare service. Delivery will also be easier since most people will have the financial means to access areas with the services that they desire.
Bohmer, R. M., & Lee, T. H. (2009). The Shifting Mission of Health Care Delivery Organizations. New England Journal of Medicine. doi:10.1056/NEJMp0903406
Brown, R. (2009). Strategies for Reining in Medicare Spending Through Delivery System Reforms: Assessing the Evidence and Opportunities. Menlo Park, CA: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. (2009) Executive Summary: The Path to a High Performance U.S. Health System: A 2020 Vision and the Policies to Pave the Way. The Commonwealth Fund. Available at http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/Files/Publications/Fund%20Report/2009/Feb/The%20Path%20to%20a%20High%20Performance%20US%20Health%20System/1238_Commission_Path_Exec_Summ_21909.pdf (Retrieved 11/21/2012)
Thorpe, K. E., & Ogden, L. L. (2010). ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY The Foundation That Health Reform Lays For Improved Payment, Care Coordination, And Prevention. Health Affairs.