Trends Shaping The Healthcare Industry Essay

1770 words - 7 pages

Consumerism

Managed Care has made a great effort in ensuring that patients are provided with
Access to quality care. Medical costs have risen so that employers have shifted more of the medical costs to the plan members therefore increasing the uninsured rate. Also with the rise of medical cost, employers could opt not to provide any medical benefits to their employees. This leaves the employee purchasing health and medical insurance with their out of pocket monies. The consumers have changed from an organization that provided medical services to enrollees for a prepared fixed fee to plans that make contractual arrangements with providers for services at discounted prices. In doing this the consumers get a larger range of networks and less restrictions to access. It has been predicted that employers will force dependents to share a large amount of their benefits through higher co-pays and deductibles. Increasing co-payments and out of pocket costs, will send customers shopping around for generic drugs and thinking twice about the spontaneous use of hospital ER rooms for immediate care. If the cost sharing increased dramatically, then employees whom have been with their jobs because of the benefits would either retire or leave and go somewhere else for better coverage. This situation could worsen healthcare employer to have workforce shortages. 1

Uninsured

The uninsured is certainly a growing concern in the world today. In 1997, 43.4 million Americans were uninsured. This consisted of 16.8% who were employed full- time and 24.1% employed part- time. Children made up 15% of the uninsured population and the remaining 26.2% were unemployed. Due to the Children's Health Insurance Program proposed by Medicaid 2.8 million children will be covered. Medicaid had a lot of stigma, and that's why it is good to have a separate health plan. Layoffs have been steadily increasing people who are uninsured. In 2001, two million lost the coverage of their employer-sponsored programs with up to another 2 million on the verge of losing their coverage on account that they can not afford the rising premiums and co-pays. The number of uninsured population is expected to grow up to 10% by 2007 reaching 51.2 million by 2006 after having decreased 38 million in 1999. The trend of the uninsured overcrowding the emergency room however will still continue. 2

Morbidity

Morbidity is a sickness or a disease and disability. New morbidities include, violence, abuse of drugs and alcohol, and emotional disorders. The dysfunctions originate in complex family or socioeconomic conditions rather than biological causes exclusively. Age, marital status, gender, income levels, education, employment status, occupation, race, and geographical areas are measurements of someone's health and well being. How long a newborn can expect to live and the remaining years for someone at age 65 measures the life expectancy. The United States has a higher infant...

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