Who are the major players in the U.S. health services system? Discuss the positive and negative effects of the often-conflicting self-interests of these players.
In your opinion, why is an individuals’ quality of life important? Explain from the health delivery perspective.
REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S DISCUSSION TO THE ABOVE QUESTION AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE.
a) The major players in the U.S. Health Services System are, in no particular order: the government, large healthcare employers, like Humana and major hospital systems, physicians and mid-level providers, as well as other important clinical staff members, pharmacies, healthcare administrators, and, finally, consumers. The biggest negatives in this is that the healthcare system in the United States is kind of a mess and does not have a uniform healthcare system and the high cost associated with US Healthcare as compared to other countries. In fact, a study done in 2019 by OECD showed that the US spends more on healthcare than any other country, yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates among the 11 nations. In 2018, the U.S. spent 16.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, nearly twice as much as the average OECD country. The second-highest ranking country, Switzerland, spent 12.2 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, New Zealand and Australia devote only 9.3 percent, approximately half as much as the U.S. does. The share of the economy spent on health care has been steadily increasing since the 1980s for all countries because health spending growth has outpaced economic growth,2 in part because of advances in medical technologies, rising prices in the health sector, and increased demand for services. With that said, a positive is that in preventable measures established by the value-based care model; the U.S. outperforms its peers in terms of preventive measures — it has the one of the highest rates of breast cancer screening among women ages 50 to 69 and the second-highest rate (after the U.K.) of flu vaccinations among people age 65 and older.(Abrams, 2020).
b) There are many factors that go into measuring a person’s quality of life, one being the health status of an individual. Truly, this can measure the happiness an individual has as it pertains to their healthcare team, their own wellbeing – physical and mental – and can have a domino effect on different areas of one’s life; life expectancy, chronic disease prevention and management, as well as broader categories like financial, familial, spiritual, etc. The whole person is important when measuring health.
Abrams, R. T. (2020, January). U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective, 2019: Higher Spending, Worse Outcomes? Retrieved from Commonwealth Fund: https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/jan/us-health-care-global-perspective-2019
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