Running Head: U.S. HEALTHCARE SYSTEM REFORM
Health Services Finance
Summer Term 2012
Instructor: Mary Black
Course Project Outline
U.S. Healthcare System Reform
This project will explore the current state or our healthcare and where it is predicted to cost us in the future. We will also examine the overall health programs and how the uninsured will affect the system entirely. Universal healthcare would alleviate the financial burden on some of the population and provide access to almost all of the country's population; however, this system will cost more. Funding the program will be discussed as well as the taxes and other funding that ...view middle of the document...
As compared to other nations, our society has people that are more overweight, live under more stress, and are less in physical activity. Additionally, our healthcare system underperforms compared to with other nations in critical areas such as, access, quality and efficiency (Davis). How did our system get this way? Why are we paying so much while other nations not so much?
A history of major events - The U.S. healthcare system is trying to evolve with modern times; however, as time goes on, our current situation becomes more apparent:
* In the 1950s, the price of hospital care was growing; however, more attention was diverted to the war in Korea. Many legislative proposals were made, but none could not be agreed on.
* In the 1960s, hospital care expenses doubled, and despite over 700 insurance companies selling health insurance, a large percentage of the population could not afford it. During this time, Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law.
* In the 1970s, as Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) begin to take form, healthcare cost continue to escalate, partially due to unforeseen high Medicare costs, coupled with rapid inflation in the economy.
* Medicare shifted to payment by diagnosis (DRG) instead of by treatment only in the 1980s. Private insurance companies quickly followed suit. Growing complaints soon followed by insurance companies' claim that the traditional fee-for-service method of payment to physicians were being exploited. Thus, many medical care providers stated to "milk the system" and take advantage of system loopholes to grow richer.
* In the 1990s, health care costs doubled the rate of inflation. Health care reform fails again in Congress. By the end of the decade, there are more than 44 million Americans who were without health insurance.
* Today, because of continued rising costs, Medicare is viewed as unsustainable under its present structure and must be "rescued" (PBS.org). With today's markets and changing business demographics, many come to believe the employer-sponsored system of insurance will start to disappear. Likewise, private insurance are becoming unaffordable for the average family income.
Impact to Healthcare organizations - These increases in cost raise questions of health care expenses at the hospital level. As higher profits are sought, the cost will become unstable for all, thus causing many to postpone going to the doctor. However, there are many complicated problems associated with our healthcare system. We will focus on main issues that can correct many related problems within the current structure. More importantly, we need to find ways to ensure all Americans have access to health care; and we need to hone in on how we can get the best value for the $2 trillion dollars we spend annually on healthcare.
Defining the Problem
Political disagreements - How can we get better value on the money we spend on healthcare while ensuing all Americans are...