Introduction to Selected Topic
One of the Healthy People 2020 leading health indicators (LHIs) is access to health services. The nature of medical services available to a given individual will dictate his or her quality of life. Although the government spends a lot of money to support the health needs of its people, minimum gains have been recorded in this sector. The increasing costs for medical care continue to affect many American citizens. A proper analysis of this LHI can inform superior policies and ideas to improve every person’s health aims. This paper gives a detailed analysis of the issues surrounding this LHI topic.
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The health topic identified for this discussion is access to health services. The nature of this health promotion problem revolves around the inability of many citizens in the United States to receive quality medical care (Nickitas, Middaugh, & Aries, 2014). Consequently, this issue affects the objectives and lifestyles of many people.
Statistics indicate that one in four individuals do not have access to competent primary care practitioners and providers (Dummit, Kahvecioglu, & Marrufo, 2016). Additionally, one in every five American citizens lack adequate medical insurance cover (Nickitas et al., 2014). Individuals who do not have appropriate insurance cover will find it hard to receive quality health services.
Around 4.4 percent of the people in the country lack high-quality medical care (Dummit et al., 2016). Over 20 percent also find it hard to receive desirable health services.
Epidemiology and Burden/Costs
This problem affects almost every racial group in the country. However, many citizens from minority races such as Asian Americans, Latinos, and African Americans lack proper health services and care. Consequently, this LHI has catalyzed numerous challenges, including the emergence of diseases such as stroke, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension (Dummit et al., 2016). Local, federal, and state governments have also been forced to incur numerous costs.
These aspects explain why this topic was selected. Since many individuals are affected the most by this problem, a proper analysis can result in evidence-based measures to support more citizens and improve the quality of medical services in this country (Dummit et al., 2016). The study can also inform adequate measures to meet every Healthy People 2020 objective.
Selected Population and Policy
The identified population for this analysis is comprised of persons aged between 18 and 65 years of age. Twenty percent of this group does not have adequate medical care and insurance cover (Tsai, Joynt, Wild, Orav, & Jha, 2015). Without proper policies and programs, this population will continue to be affected by different medical conditions. They will also be at risk of other opportunistic diseases such as cancer and hypertension.
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The main policy that has been put in place to attain this LHI is the Medicare payment program. This complex approach has been focusing on bundled payments to replace existing fee-for-service approaches (Nickitas et al., 2014). The policy also promotes coordinated care in different settings and organizations to deliver quality services to more people. These new models have been aimed at ensuring that more citizens have access to medical services. The specific legislators involved include Congressmen and directors of different government-sponsored programs. These legislators have been focusing on the best ways to develop and improve this policy. Currently, they are identifying the unique benefits, outcomes, and gaps after these new proposals have been put in place.
The above policy has been observed to improve the way patients receive adequate services. Bundled payments are making it easier for more citizens to incur reduced medical costs (Tsai et al., 2015). With practitioners serving more patients, it has been possible to deliver positive clinical outcomes. Additionally, the policy has resulted in improve healthcare quality and efficiency. Interprofessional teams have also been supported under this new policy (Tsai et al., 2015). The model attracts different practitioners and clinicians to coordinate care delivery efforts.
This policy presents incentives and ideas for care teams to implement coordinated models for delivering superior medical services across different settings and organizations. The policy can be used by different professionals such as psychologists, nurses, physicians, and therapists to work as a team. Consequently, the interprofessional team will identify the right resources and deliver evidence-based services to the targeted patients (Tsai et al., 2015). Additionally, these payment policies within the Medicare program empower physicians to develop evidence-based models that can ensure that safe medical care is available to the greatest number of American citizens.
Connection to Healthy People 2020
Healthy People 2020 gives a detailed set of aims and objectives that can be realized by within a period of 10 years. This achievement can result in improved health outcomes for every American citizen. In order to deliver positive results, several benchmarks and indicators (known as LHIs) have been presented to guide different stakeholders. Access to health services is, therefore, one of these attributes. In 2010, statistics indicated that around 20 percent of American citizens were unable to receive quality medical services. Similarly, one in every five individuals between 10 and 66 years of age lacked sustainable medical insurance. Due to such gaps, many citizens have been unable to receive sustainable and quality medical support. Consequently, medical costs have been increasing in the country (“Access to health services,” n.d.). Numerous health conditions such as stroke and cancer are currently affecting more people in the country. Those who can afford (or have access to) medical services tend to be burdened with widening out-of-pocket expenses and medical bills.
The main reason why Healthy People 2020 outlines this health indicator is to compel or guide different players to formulate powerful programs and policies to support the needs of more persons. With the introduction of superior models, chances are high that positive results will be recorded. This is the case because more American will access sustainable and high-quality health care (“Access to health services,” n.d.). The achievement will also reduce the risk of certain conditions such as cancer, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension.
This topic is used by Healthy People 2020 to guide the US Department of HHS and other organizations to continue supporting a wide range of policies and programs to improve the quality medical services available to every American citizen. The government can also focus on this LHI to direct research and funding in an attempt to improve the country’s health sector (“Access to health services,” n.d.). When more people have insurance cover and primary caregivers, it will be easier for them to record positive results and achieve their potential (Nickitas et al., 2014). Stakeholders in the sector should also coordinate their efforts to develop interprofessional teams and care delivery models that can meet the changing needs of every citizen.
The above discussion has also outlined the unique strengths and benefits of the proposed Medicare payment initiatives. Unfortunately, Tsai et al. (2015) indicate that such policies have not transformed the nature of workforce distribution and supply. This situation has been affected by the current shortage of physicians and caregivers. It will be appropriate for policymakers to suggest new laws and programs for hiring skilled professionals to meet the health needs of the country’s diverse population.
Additionally, powerful training programs should be introduced to empower and guide more practitioners to deliver sustainable healthcare services to more Americans. This is the case because the country’s population is facing a major shift due to the increasing number of elderly citizens. Coordinated efforts among providers and practices will also create the best environment for supporting the diverse needs of many citizens in the country. Modern technologies have the potential to improve decision-making, care delivery, and quality of medical outcomes (Tsai et al., 2015). When these measures or ideas are supported using superior policies, chances are high that the country will be on the right path towards improving this leading healthy indicator.
Health care access is an area that has received the attention of different agencies and government organizations. According to Healthy People 2020, more people are in need of superior medical services. Access of quality health care is, therefore, defined as one of the key objectives (or indicators) that can inform the introduction of powerful programs and models to support every citizen’s health needs. New Medicare policies initiatives have been observed to support superior care teams and bundled payments. Towards the future, similar policies will be needed to improve the effectiveness of practitioners and ensure that more American citizens have access to sustainable medical services.
Access to health services. (n.d.). Web.
Dummit, L. A., Kahvecioglu, D., & Marrufo, G. (2016). Association between hospital participation in a Medicare bundled payment initiative and payments and quality outcomes for lower extremity joint replacement episodes. JAMA, 316(12), 1267-1278. Web.
Nickitas, D. M., Middaugh, D. J., & Aries, N. (2014). Policy and politics for nurses and other professionals (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Tsai, T. C., Joynt, K. E., Wild, R. C., Orav, J., & Jha, K. (2015). Medicare’s bundled payment initiative: Most hospitals are focused on a few high-volume conditions. Health Affairs, 34(3), 371-380. Web.