It should be noted that health care reform has caused heated discussions among both expert community members and regular citizens. There are many people who support it while, at the same time, some people believe that the current system is flawed and it has numerous limitations. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the positive impact of the reform and the implementation difficulties that need to be addressed.
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One of the most important future effects of the health reform is greater coverage for different population groups (Barnes, Unruh, Chukmaitov, & van Ginneken, 2014). In particular, companies cannot deny coverage to individuals on the basis of their medical history. Earlier, agencies could turn down a person suffering from a chronic condition by charging them much in premiums. However, at present, pre-existing medical conditions no longer affect the situation.
It implies that people suffering from such diseases as diabetes will not be denied coverage. Therefore, the reform ensures that more people will receive appropriate care and their health-related needs will be addressed (Barnes et al., 2014).
Another positive impact of the reform is free preventive care. Before the introduction of new laws and acts, preventive care was frequently covered by citizens themselves while the reform ensures that it will be free of charge. In the long run, preventive care will be much more cost-effective than providing services to detect and cure the diseases that have already emerged (Eijkenaar, Emmert, Scheppach, & Schöffski, 2013). This approach ensures that the population will be healthier while the costs will be decreased.
Nevertheless, certain problems related to coverage and cost transparency can be anticipated. In terms of coverage, it is necessary to determine whether all citizens should be guaranteed equal access to basic services notwithstanding their financial or any other background. In addition, it is crucial to decide whether services will vary from state to state or if they should be the same across all areas (Sommers, Arntson, Kenney, & Epstein, 2013). Cost transparency is another significant problem since country residents are not aware of how much the services they need cost, which inevitably leads to expenses going high.
Improving Quality and Containing Cost Growing Forward
Importantly, quality improvement and containment of cost going forward are directly related (Barnes et al., 2014). All the measures taken should be aimed at refining the quality of care provision at the personal level. It implies that the current approach based on a fee-for-service strategy should be altered. It is necessary to strive for achieving coordinated care, which means that the needs of each particular patient will be addressed. Therefore, feasible changes in payments are required to transition to person-level healthcare. This approach requires all members of the expert community including policymakers and healthcare specialists to work together (Barnes et al., 2014).
The quality of care will also be improved if patients understand the costs associated with healthcare. Greater transparency will be achieved if each individual comprehends how different services related to their specific case are covered (Barnes et al., 2014). Thus, the quality of care should be improved through transparent patient-level measures, and this strategy will gradually result in containing cost growing forward.
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It can be concluded that health reform has positively affected healthcare provision in various ways. Nonetheless, it has resulted in particular difficulties which require immediate attention from the side of policymakers. Current and future measures to reaching quality improvements should be aimed at achieving coordinated care and feasible changes in payments. This approach will allow not only to improve the quality of care provided to patients but also to ensure that costs do not grow higher.
Barnes, A. J., Unruh, L., Chukmaitov, A., & van Ginneken, E. (2014). Accountable care organizations in the USA: Types, developments and challenges. Health Policy, 118(1), 1-7.
Eijkenaar, F., Emmert, M., Scheppach, M., & Schöffski, O. (2013). Effects of pay for performance in health care: A systematic review of systematic reviews. Health Policy, 110(2-3), 115-130.
Sommers, B. D., Arntson, E., Kenney, G. M., & Epstein, A. M. (2013). Lessons from early Medicaid expansions under health reform: Interviews with Medicaid officials. Medicare & Medicaid Research Review, 3(4), E1-E19.