FUTURE PROBLEMS FOR HEALTH CARE MANAGEMENT
Health care plays a vital role in the society by ensuring that morbidity levels in a country are at their lowest and also reducing the rate mortality across all age groups in a population. Delivery of health services is usually financed through two broad categories, the private and the public sectors. The public sector accounts for a lower percentage in health care expenditure which effectively has left the private sector to bear the greater burden in health care financing and management.
Firstly, there have been an increasing number of insured patients under employer based schemes. Apparently, most of these employers based schemes have private hospitals as their main medical providers who usually charge higher fee as compared to public hospitals. Moreover, since employers mostly place the schemes through private medical insurers, the medical service providers are motivated to over-service clients, since more service means more income. This is a major cause of increasing health care cost.
Health insurers as result have increased their premiums due to high claim ratios and this will most definitely lead to low health insurance sales in the future and hence pose considerable challenges for those patients who cannot afford health covers. In addition, this may probably lead to an influx in the number of patients visiting public hospitals where services are generally below standard. Doctors in public hospitals barely have enough time to control morbidity levels after serving their patients and therefore managing and monitoring disease growth is difficult after health care is provided.
Furthermore, due to longevity, there are a growing number of elderly people who often finance their medical cover using their pension’s benefits. This implies that there will be an increased demand for funding long term care of the elderly and also developing alternatives to nursing homes. Consequently, employers will shy away from financing retiree health benefits due increased medical cost that come longevity. Reduced mortality effectively can also slow private long term care insurance uptake among retirees to be and eventually cause segmentation in health care provision.
Technological innovations in health care are best, however, these new technologies are often very expensive and the drugs used in conjunction to these technologies are only partially covered by health insurers.valwriting.net Considering that some drugs are usually under trial phase, insurers will try to restrict medical coverage in effort to control cost hence transferring the entire fee charge to the patient. Pharmaceuticals may therefore stop developing drugs that are clinically helpful and focus on less effective and easy to manufacture drugs.
Tobacco firms are developing and manufacturing genetically modified cigarettes that ‘in a way’ reduces chances of lung cancer. Contrary to this statement, these firms are actually trying to make smoking socially acceptable and hence boost sales. This will eventually increases the number of people affected with respiratory and heart diseases and therefore increasing the standard premium charged by insurers. Coupled with threats of bio-terrorism, health care management is made difficult because of inadequate incentives that come with these situations.
In conclusion, as much as health care management has undergone many positive strides in history, changes in the roles of major players in the health care industry will alter work and relations. Managers and Doctors will have to anticipate and be ready for new technologies, balance competing demands from patients, staff, community groups and regulators in order to realize better health care management.
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Davies, Huw and Manouche Tavakoli. Health care policy, performance and finance : strategic issues in health care management. Burlington: Ashgate, 2004.
Price, Sylvia Anderson, Marylane Wade Koch and Sandra Bassett. Health care resource management : present and future challenges. St. Louis: Mosby, 1998.