As myriad of changes continue being experienced in the health sector, several challenges prevent effective implementation of healthcare services. These challenges include limitation in healthcare services, inefficient skills, unskilled personnel, poverty and huge gap between the number of skilled healthcare providers and number of patients seeking services. These problems further intensify in rural areas whereby the distance between patients and healthcare facilities prevent timely access to healthcare. This explains why several federal policies target problems facing the rural poor. Studies further show that more than 15 percent of healthcare beneficiaries reside in rural areas (Thrall, 2012). These patients depend on locally available social services to assist them progress towards self-reliance. As state revenue continues to reduce, the challenge of accessing required healthcare will continue to increase. In order to address these issues, the federal government has formulated policies targeting these regions. Each policy incorporates strategies for enhancing effective implementation and societal welfare improvement (Hayashi & Leff, 2012). United Transitional Care Center (UTCC) is a modern health care facility established to address the health care problems affecting different health complications. In particular, it addresses medical care and financing issues affecting residents of West Virginia.
United Transitional Care Center
UTCC is a healthcare facility located in Bridgeport, West Virginia. This healthcare facility extends services to patients covered by Medicare. The facility has a capacity of 32 beds. This is a clear indication that the care center is unable to meet special healthcare needs of the entire population in West Virginia. However, rrecognition over recent past is an indication of the center’s ability to deliver its expected goals while addressing prevalent problems affecting the society. For instance, the 4 Star ranked the UTCC among the leading nursing homes in West Virginia. The center was also recognized for its leading role in maintaining quality measures, healthcare inspections, and availability of highly trained nurses (Volland, 2013).
UTCC health services targets both poor and well-endowed population of West Virginia. The center has facility specifically tailored to serve old patients that require specialized restorative treatment after suffering from acute illness. It extends care at appropriate time once a patient begins recovery. In order to enhance efficiency of service delivery, the center has a nursing training facility. After recruitment, the new nurses undergo specialized training in order to further sharpen their skills. The training facility also targets existing nurses that receive constant training in order to remain updated on newly emerging healthcare requirements. Likewise, additional departments in the center such as respiratory therapy, nursing, and medicine among others ensure that patients obtain progressive restoration to the highest attainable functioning level.
Policies Affecting Service Delivery
In effort to support the goal of improving healthcare services, the federal government has formulated several healthcare policies. The first policy promotes connection of patients to relevant healthcare services. In 2010, the federal government formulated reform proposals with an aim of ensuring that patients acquire financing required for healthcare access. In reference to the health reform proposals, some of the newly available tools include supplementary funding and state support. These funds are used to pay for primary care providers. In order to enhance enforcement of this policy, UTCC extends its services to several low income families in Bridgeport that depend on government agencies for human and basic services. In 1979, the government established Interagency Coordinating Council with an aim of enhancing collaboration among several agencies. Under leadership of the council, a system of interdisciplinary control was established with an aim of extending services special requirements of residents in the area. A typical program that promotes coloration between UTCC and other healthcare agencies is Multi-Agency Treatment Team (MATT). This program encourages UTCC healthcare providers to collaborate with other agencies as an interdisciplinary management group. UTCC is represented by a few specialists that meet on continuous basis in order to address special requirements for people exposed to various risks. In particular, the group members in this program collaborate with an aim of developing, coordinating, monitoring and assessing individualized service plans aimed at reducing the healthcare costs and cases of home care placement.
Another federal policy targets improvement of healthcare services. In the federal reform proposal, the federal government avails to states financial support for programs aimed at improving care for individuals suffering from complicated healthcare needs. These proposals proceed to open door for coordination between Medicaid and Medicare. However, there are two main barriers that impede implementation of the target improvements. These barriers include limitation of infrastructures for enhancing spreading of best practices and limitation in evidence base for improving healthcare. These hurdles are yet to be addressed.
In order to comply with the federal policy that emphasizes on improvement of health among individuals suffering from complicated health problems, UTCC launched the Accredited Cancer Program in 1989. This program has received approval from the Commission on Cancer of Surgeon. This program is aimed at providing state of art equipment and most modernized treatment Routine. This program proves that UTCC recognizes cancer as one of the complicated group of diseases. Therefore, the program supports discussions among medical oncologists, surgeons, diagnostic radiologists, radiation oncologists and other specialists in cancer treatment. The outcome of this multi-disciplinary cooperation is improvement in patient care. The program targets several groups of patients suffering from cancer. For instance, the Hope Support Group holds meetings in accordance with the requirements of UTCC. The program provides education and support to individuals suffering from cancer as well as their families. Another group targeted by UTCC’s Accredited Cancer Program is Butterfly Support Group. This group convenes at UTCC on monthly basis in sessions that are open to any women that require assistance after diagnosis with breast cancer and beginning treatment. The program aims at providing mutual education programs. Other groups established by Accredited Cancer Program include Reach to Recovery, Man to Man and Look God, Feel Better (Curcio, 2012).
Another federal health policy emphasizes on promotion of coordination and incorporation in health system. This policy emphasizes on coordination and integration of healthcare system through support of stronger role for primary care among individuals diagnosed with chronic conditions. Moreover, the policy underlines the state’s role of blending different healthcare sections in effort to improve the overall care system. In order to promote healthcare delivery to patients with special needs, UTCC has incorporated several training programs. Training is aimed at team building, case management, cultural capability and group management of high risk health problems. UTCC ensures that recruited healthcare providers are able to provide high quality services in all their outlets. The center attributes its success to organizational culture. Through incorporation of strict employment and selections processes, UTCC ensures availability of service oriented staffs to manage its facilities. Ready to award above average compensation, UTCC guarantees loyalty among staff members. This transforms to better service provision and dedication to target population. Training programs are aimed at ensuring that staff members are equipped with essential skills required to improve performance of their duties. After recruitment of professional healthcare personnel to formulate strategies for its programs implementation, UTCC develops a working environment that promotes high standards of service delivery and professionalism.
Resources for supporting comprehensive social service by UTCC
Demands for services in West Virginia continue to rise at the same rate as other regions in United States. Over the past decade, several counties have realized an increase in organizational workloads. For instance, Madeleine (2012) establishes administrative roles related to adult care have increased by 75 percent in areas administering adult care programs. The duties linked to stamp administration have improved in metropolitan regions. The Medicaid administrative load has recorded an increase of 65 percent in metropolitan regions in comparison to 54 percent recorded in rural areas. Nevertheless, it is also apparent that the grant seeking capacity among social service agencies in rural regions is lower in comparison to grant seeking in metropolitan regions. These findings may challenge West Virginia to search opportunities that will ensure equal distribution of healthcare programs and realization of equal results.
These individuals are equipped with skills necessary to enhance provision of direct services to patients. For qualification to perform these roles, UTCC emphasizes that individuals should have completed medicine studies at the university level. These specialists should also have a license to practice. The center also welcomes service from foreign physicians as long as they have previously practiced in the country.
These specialists are relevant in UTCC whereby they are assigned various roles. In order to perfect their skills, these nurses undergo training after recruitment. Nurses ranges from midwives to professional nurses, associate professional nurses, nursing assistants and nursing aids (Golden & Shier, 2012).
Gaps in services and unmet needs
Several problems that affect delivery of social services in Bridgeport are similar to those affecting West Virginia and other regions in the United States. Some of the challenges in social service delivery are more formidable in Bridgeport rural regions. For instance, promoting access to adequate and affordable child care, convenient and consistent transportation is mainly difficult in some isolated regions. Inspiring economic growth in some of these regions proves to be difficult. Studies shows that rural areas suffer from lack of appropriate infrastructure required for attracting businesses and the expenses connected to development may be high. These are some of the major factors that limit development of job prospects. Limitation in commercial development and lower per capita income reduce the tax revenue allocated for developing rural healthcare facilities and improving related services. Rural employers have a lower likelihood (in comparison to suburban and urban regions employers) of evenly promoting access to healthcare services across all areas. Moreover, the rural agency staffs face challenges while identifying needy families due to the fact that psychological and sociological limits to dependence on public assistance are more widespread in rural areas.
The per capita cost linked to service delivery is higher in rural areas due to lower population density (Volland, 2013). With the reduction in government revenue allocations to healthcare among other sectors, state agencies are challenged to reevaluate their priorities in service provision. While state agencies are striving to promote provision of broad support in a financially effective manner, the low income residents have a high likelihood of facing impacts of diminished services.
In effort to implement its duties of providing healthcare to underprivileged individuals, healthcare institutions face several challenges. These challenges emanate from financial limitation and inadequate healthcare facilities. UTCC was established in effort to address some of the emerging problems. Through institution of several programs, UTCC has emerged successful in providing healthcare services targeting underprivileged old people that require specialized restorative treatment. The services are specifically tailored for rural residents whereby several healthcare challenges are widespread. From the above analysis, it is apparent that the existing social policy is inadequate. Therefore, there is need for new or revised social policy or programs. In order to address these problems, UTCC should entitle disabled people or population subgroups as physically underserved populations. This entitlement will open opportunities for healthcare specialists that chose to provide healthcare for a large number of patients suffering from various disabilities to access healthcare services regardless of their financial position.
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Volland, P. (2013). The Transitional Care and Comprehensive Care Coordination Debate. Generations, 36(4): 13-19.