History Of Healthcare Essay

867 words - 4 pages

Many pivotal events over the last century have brought our healthcare system to where it is today. Some were indirect, such as World War II (and how it led to direct events such as medical advances that shifted focus from critical care and managing contagion to preventive medicine and health insurance as an employee benefit) and the internet (which has provided a wealth of tools and resources that were once only available to healthcare providers and has served to foster technological advancements such as Electronic Health Records and telemedicine). Others were targeted interventions, such as the Hill-Burton Act, which was enacted in 1946 and provided infrastructure dollars to healthcare ...view middle of the document...

Everyone is a stakeholder – those accessing the system, those administering and regulating it, those providing the services, and those funding care through tax dollars and every increasing insurance premiums and coinsurance to offset the cost for individuals who can’t pay for it themselves.

Publicly funded programs (Medicare and Medicaid, military health services) represent the greater portion of the healthcare spend (Williams & Torrens, 2008), and while I believe there is value in maintaining public funding, I also believe that much of what has been crammed into a medical model in order to make it reimbursable should be evaluated for removal from the Medicare and Medicaid benefit. For example, Medicaid and Medicaid Waiver programs include benefits and services that are supportive of medical services but in their essence are just good, old-fashioned social work activities that could likely best be delivered outside of a medical model and through different funding streams that would result in lower costs and take advantage of dollars raised through charitable giving (and saved through volunteerism). In fact, when evaluating these types of services and the many public sector and government programs that include healthcare spending, all funding streams should be evaluated for redundancies, gaps, and the potential for consolidation to lower the costs of administering the programs (Medicare has made some attempts at this with Medicare Advantage and Dual Special Needs Populations models, but there are still layers of administrative costs that could be flattened). For instance, where there are healthcare programs for the military, Native Americans, Medicare and Medicaid, etc., there are opportunities to sustain their original purpose but streamline their administration to reduce fragmentation, standardize...

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