The healthcare system in the USA has numerous major flaws. High costs and uncertain quality of care specify that this system is no longer practical. Several development initiatives, such as Leapfrog, which goal was to identify practices, or leaps, when applied would theoretically result in healthcare that was of better quality and more cost-efficient, have been implemented into the present system. There is now increasing support for preventive care measure and universal health coverage model as a morally sound and just way to decrease health disparities in the USA. The present quality initiatives, as well as an adoption of universal coverage, appear to be the best advancement in providing quality care, reduce cost, and upsurge equality in healthcare. The purpose of this paper is to examine the current problems in the US health system and to evaluate possible solutions that will improve quality while decreasing the unchecked increase in healthcare spending: and what country healthcare system US can learn from.
Problems Contributing to the Rising Costs in the US Healthcare System
There are many problems that contribute to the rising costs of health care in the United State but, two are the most that stand out. Malpractice litigations, and advance Technologies. Over the past decades healthcare costs have risen so dramatically: Many people point fingers at costly malpractice suits and expensive technology and liability insurance as major contributors. From what I learn in class this hike is due to high cost technologies: more clinical research than preventive care, the price per unit of care and doctors’ fees, and with Americans spending consistently far more per person on the costs of litigation than any other country in the world.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, “the unnecessary lawsuit is a threat to health care quality for all Americans”. This means, because of the surplus lawsuits against doctors and hospitals, Doctors have implemented defensive medicine, a costly use of unnecessary medical treatments, to avoid litigation. Defensive medicine is a costly practice that has progressed out of the medical malpractice system in America.
The US Department of Health and Human Services also conducted a survey and found that, over 76% of doctors are concerned that malpractice litigation has damaged their ability to provide quality care to patients. These high costs of health care have cause many groups of surgeons and physicians to limit their practices by either evading patients with health conditions that would increase the alleged risk of lawsuit or forcing them to move to states with another legal system in which insurance can be attained at a more affordable price. The second problem contributing to the rising healthcare cost is technology.
The High Cost of advance medical technology is certainly not bad for the United State. Many advances help fuel the economic growth and create better quality and care for patients, even when cost is considered. However, there are some technology that, according to Healthcare technology and technology assessment” new technologies are often introduced into the marketplace with little evidence about their usefulness in comparison to already existing devices or procedures.
It has been noted that efforts in technology assessment are poorly funded and fragmented, with little cooperation or discussion between public and private sector groups to address the implications for quality of care and resource distribution. This is a particular problem in orthopedic and hand surgery, because of widespread adoption of the newest and most costly implants, such as plates, screws, and joint replacement implants, resulting in a substantial increase in overall cost associated with these procedures.”
Some Initiatives to lower healthcare cost
Many strategies have been created to help control nationwide costs of health care. The leapfrog initiative in this paper were selected because it is an important initiative proposed by the government and major payers. This strategy was initiated to theoretically aims at reducing healthcare costs while at the same time improving quality of care.
The Leap Frog Initiatives According to Health Aff (Millwood). 2005″. A group composed of 160 private and public-sector employers bought benefits for more than 34 million Americans, forming the Leapfrog initiative. The main goal was to identify practices, or leaps, that when applied would theoretically result in health care that was of better quality and more cost-efficient. Some of the leaps that they wanted to introduce in patient safety included computerized physician order entry, physician staffing, ICU and a program that referred patients to hospitals based on volume and process standards.
As the initiative grew, Leapfrog launched its regional rollout effort in 2001, in which health care purchasers worked together regionally to encourage hospital survey responses and improvements. Health Aff (Millwood). 2005″. The second initiative that could help lower health cost is Preventive care. Preventive care will also be a great way to lower healthcare cost. Some research has proven that if Americans can work on their diet and participate in more physical activities most of the chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, kidney, and obesity will help reduce some cost on drug and technology that are so costly.
The inappropriate use, where new treatments are offered to patients for whom there are little clinical benefit are from the cost-increasing properties of technology. I work in the Hospital and some technology I see doctors recommending to patients for after kneels surgery is not necessary because, we have physical therapist to do that. the machine cost five hundred dollars per day, and all the machine dose is to massage the kneel, which of cause can be done by a physical therapist. Preventive care may not be the perfect initiative to lower healthcare cost but it can be the key to improving American health, and lowering the rising health costs under control.
Country Healthcare United State Can Learn from
From what I read learned in class, I think the US can learn a lesson from the Japanese. First, the Us should learn to have a Universal Health care that have similar system like Japan. The government of Japan controlled Cost by imposing national fee schedule with contained limits on overall expenditure increases. The health care system of Japan is intended to make medical services available to all its citizens via employer purchased insurance and to control health care expenses. This has resulted in one of the world healthiest nations, at one of the lowest costs because the government makes sure all its citizens are covered, whether rich or poor, no one have worried about high premium insurance like in the US.
According to Japan HiT (2009) “The Japanese pay for the cost through Various insurance plans that comprises, of, compulsory payroll deductions, taxes, and patient co-payments”. “Patients freely choose their providers, and providers are paid by a uniform method and rate, nationally negotiated by a council made up of providers, citizens, and insurers”. The increases of Price are limited by a ceiling government set. Japan HiT (2009)” This system has helped control cost and ensure equitable access for the Japanese. Also, the Japanese control the diet by eating healthy food that is more organic, and a lot of physical activities.
Health care costs, is a growing problem for American families of every age group. Earnings have not kept up with the rising health care costs, and families are stressed coping with higher health insurance payments and higher out of pocket expenses when they are sick. The Rising health care costs are stepping out other important priorities for workers, such as retirement, children’s college education and Savings. Employers have answered to higher health care costs by scaling back salary increases, and shifting costs increases to their employees. If trends of such continue, many people who had been middle-class citizen throughout their working years will be at risk of not having enough financial resources to maintain a lifestyle of a middle-class during their retirement years. Having the leapfrog and preventive care could help America lower the cost of health care, like in Japan where diet, preventive health, and physical activities helps preve