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Explain The Evolution An Expansion Of Hospitals Throughout History

949 words - 4 pages

United States’ hospitals began as charitable organizations funded by religious ordinances or charitable individuals/leaders and the staff running the hospital were, either volunteers, or the founding religious order. The hospitals were historically located in the larger towns in association with the organization who founded them. Currently, hospitals are funded by state government; for profit and non profit health organizations; health insurance companies; or the more historical charities, and are largely staffed by professional physicians, surgeons and nurses. Hospitals have evolved from the more historical charitable organizations and are now focused more toward their economic objective.Hospitals began to evolve and expand in the 1930’s, when Blue Cross insurance was founded, and in the years to follow, when Medicare and Medicaid were established. The 20th Century followed a largely private based, for profit approach to providing hospital care, with few state money supported charity hospitals remaining today. Profit seeking hospitals will admit uninsured patients in emergency situations; however, they incur direct financial losses if the patient does not pay the required bill. Knowing that there will be a complete loss of money for helping an uninsured patient, there is a clear disincentive to admit such patients. This disincentive is directly associated with rising healthcare costs and largely due to these costs, transportation issues, new technology, and the rising age of baby boomers, the trend of hospital expansion and evolution has not ceased.In 2004, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “through 2014, an estimated $200 billion will be spent on new hospital construction across the U.S.” and the U.S. Census Bureau reported, “spending on private health care construction (hospitals, medical buildings, and specialty care) increased 65% from 2000 to 2006,” (Holton, 2007). According to a 2005 survey of twelve U.S. sites, there are four main categories of hospital construction: new full-service hospitals or substantial expansion of existing general hospital capacity; new facilities or expansion of existing capacity for specific specialty services; total or partial replacement of old facilities; expansion of particular service areas for which patient demand typically exceeds the available supply of services, (Holton, 2007).There are many trends associated with the evolution and expansion of the United States Healthcare System. For example, in an attempt to improve profitability and extend their reach into underserved areas, many urban hospitals are looking to grow outside city limits into the more rural areas. Another example is in the improvement with the cost and care associated with inpatients versus outpatients. Outpatients are individuals in a hospital who come just for diagnosis and/or therapy and then leave, while others, inpatients, are admitted and stay overnight or for several weeks or months. In...

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