Health Care Policy
The modern commercial market model represent failing public and economic policies that are used to justify the increased control of corporates on the healthcare sector for profit purposes. Essentially, health services are not ordinary products and can be explained as public goods that should be financed and regulated by the government. Notably, a public good is a service or commodity that is intended to benefit the entire community. Some of their characteristics include, require high initial capital to invest thus too expensive for private investors, requiring constant and high level administration and its value increases over time (Boston University, 2016). Considering all these aspects, it is correct to consider healthcare a public good.
During an emergency, an individual has no price sensitivity and most physicians provide the required level of care without considering the overall cost required and the purchasing power of the patient. They however make sure they provide the required level of care to ensure the person is recuperating well. Moreover, there exist no product or service substitution during the entire period. It is therefore wrong to consider healthcare a business during such scenarios.
Health policy has numerous stakeholders including providers, patients, policy makers and the payers. Considerably, the policy makers include bodies such as the government and health care agencies that are responsible for establishing frameworks that are followed by the other parties (Santilli & Vogenberg, 2015). Patients on the other hand entail the citizens of the state or region that receive care services from the different medical institutions. Providers are responsible for delivering quality care and maintaining the information about their population while payer prioritize on the financial aspect of policy framework in the sector.
The U.S. healthcare policy has over the year’s undergone different changes including payment of reinsurance by insurers, expansion of Medicaid, and the introduction of the easing stark law that introduces specific restrictions. All these development affect the payers or health insurance providers as they are required to introduce better products and to increase cover on their current policies.
For profit hospitals are health facilities that aim at making revenue from the medical services they offer to the population and are usually managed through different business models include limited liability, partnership or sole proprietorship. These institutions are required by the law to pay taxes and their main source of financing is are the promoters or investors. Moreover, they promote a business driven culture and its management are accountable to their shareholders (The CT Mirror, 2014). Like other enterprises, they are managed by a board of governors that may be elected by the shareholders or appointed by the partners depending on the method of formation. These firms also aim at increasing the financial capability and not necessarily providing quality care services to the community.
Not for profit hospitals on the other hand are usually exempted from paying any form of taxes including income tax. Their main source of funding include minor investments, government allocations, donors and the community (In-Training, 2018). Moreover, such institutions do not realize any kind of profit and reinvest their little proceeds into maintenance of their facilities, updating their existing technology or purchasing new ones plus other medical materials. As opposed to the profit driven institutions, the non for profit health facilities have a service driven culture rather than a business driven one.
According to the common wealth fund report in 2015, the United States population spends the highest on healthcare compared to other high income countries including the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Germany. Some of the areas with high visits and high pricing pointed out by the report include doctors’ visits, diagnostic imaging exams, surgeries and purchasing of different prescriptions.
The main reasons for the increase in the high spending culture on healthcare in the United States include the growth in government subsidies, the taxation on health insurance premiums, the rising number of regulations such as insurance mandates and Medicare, the march of science and income elasticity (America Magazine, 2017). March of science entails taking advantage of some of the new technologies that are considered to be more efficient and reliable than the other. Some of these technologies include surgical robots, MRI machines and CAT scanners. Income elasticity on the other hand comprise of increase in purchasing power due to rising income.
America Magazine. (2017). Why does the United States spend so much on health care for such poor quality? Retrieved January 23, 2019, from https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/02/02/why-does-united-states-spend-so-much-health-care-such-poor-quality
Boston University. (2016). Public Health as a Public Good | SPH | Boston University. Retrieved January 23, 2019, from https://www.bu.edu/sph/2016/01/10/public-health-as-a-public-good/
In-Training. (2018). For-Profit and Non-Profit Hospitals: What are the Differences? Retrieved January 23, 2019, from http://in-training.org/profit-non-profit-hospitals-differences-7352
Santilli, J., & Vogenberg, F. R. (2015). Key strategic trends that impact healthcare decision-making and stakeholder roles in the new marketplace. American health & drug benefits, 8(1), 15.
The CT Mirror. (2014). How different are for-profit and nonprofit hospitals? Retrieved January 23, 2019, from https://ctmirror.org/2014/04/25/how-different-are-for-profit-and-nonprofit-hospitals/