Importance of Studying the History of US Healthcare Delivery

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COLLAPSE

Significance of Studying the History of Health Care Delivery

It is vital for health care consumers and professionals to comprehend the history of the U.S. health care delivery system. Learning the system’s chronicle of events clarifies how it functions today, who takes part in it, and what legal and ethical difficulties result from it. Similarly, to identify what issues continue to beset it, historical knowledge is indispensable to allow for a profound understanding of the core features of the health care delivery system as it currently occurs (Shi & Singh, 2019).

Predominant Factors which Shaped U.S. Health Care

The subsequent items are the main forces of change influencing health care in the United States:

Cultural Beliefs and Values

Individuals’ discernment and cultural bearing can have a reflective outcome on their reception to health information and their inclination to utilize it (Shepherd, et al., 2018). Cultural variances affect one’s demeanor about medical care and his ability to understand, manage, and deal with with the course of an illness, the meaning of a diagnosis, and the consequences of medical treatment. Patients, their families, and health providers bring culture-specific ideas and morals related to notions of wellness and sickness, reporting of symptoms, and expectations of how health care will be delivered.

Self-Reliance

Some authorities openly acknowledged that providing health care to the able-bodied poor may perhaps encourage dependency (Grogan & Park, 2017). In this discourse, some legislators covertly employ an ideal of self-reliance. According to this commonly held belief, any assistance from the government involves dependency, which collides with the principles of freedom and self-sufficiency. Because autonomy has been a fundamental value in American political culture, individuals who count on state assistance face a certain stigma (Snowden & Graaf, 2019). Thus, the myth of self-reliance takes individuals as either workers or indigents who either hold jobs or obtain benefits, respectively.

Welfare Assistance for the Needy

The source of insurance coverage may affect health outcomes as well. Although working poor families may have access to employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, higher premiums and co-payments may prevent some employees from enrolling or seeking needed health care services (Vahid Shahidi, et al., 2019). Furthermore, several researchers have argued that welfare reform has negatively affected adults’ health insurance coverage, as well as adults’ access to and utilization of health care services (Vahid Shahidi, et al., 2019). Consequently, parental health insurance coverage are strong prognosticators of children’s health care utilization.

Social Makeup

One’s health is partially driven by access to social and economic opportunities (Ziemann, et al., 2019). These aspects play a key role in influencing health outcomes such as illness, difficulties with activities of daily living, and premature death. This is why optimal health care must address the social and environmental factors that lead to health disparity.

Demographic Shifts

Demographic shifts are increasing pressures on health systems and demanding new directions in the delivery of healthcare (Lo, et al., 2017). Fluctuations in population size, age, race, and ethnicity affect the health care resources needed, the cost of care provided, and the circumstances linked with each population group. Health care establishments are expected to acclimatize rapidly to meet their patients’ varying needs while addressing existing health reform requirements.

Immigration

Studies reveal that immigrant families generally decline the required health care and social services due to fear of interactions with public agencies (Van Natta, et al., 2019). This is the reason why they have lower rates of health insurance, use less health care, and receive lower quality of care than their American-born counterparts. In addition, toxic stress related with fear of deportation has been demonstrated to have negative effects on an individual’s long-term physical and mental health (Van Natta, et l., 2019). This has a noteworthy bearing on the uptake of non-medical services, such as food assistance, that are vital to good health.

Technological Advances

Digital technology may help change untenable healthcare systems, align the rapport between medical professionals and patients, as well as offer economical, faster, and more effective solutions for ailments (Lachman, 2019). Patients can have access to the best diagnostic tools, pioneering treatments, and numerous minimally-invasive procedures resulting in reduced pain and more rapid healing. Remote sessions with specialists, targeted treatments, and the availability of instinctive mobile applications have led to improved patient care, greater customer satisfaction, and enhanced quality of life.

Economic Constraints

Financial constraints may force some policy makers to direct the health system towards a more centralized control (Kino & Kawachi, 2018). On the other hand, hospitals, health professionals, and users may feel uncertain within a system that is inclined to simplify and minimize various processes which are becoming progressively intricate (Kino & Kawachi, 2018). Accordingly, benchmarks on values, ethics, and laws may be probed. These are central foundations to consider when health care reform is implemented.

Political Opportunism

The politics of health have evolved in the United States. Its concern has gradually veered from the general health of the population to a mounting awareness of the unmet health needs of individuals (Bellido, et al., 2019). Moreover, different political settings have conditioned health legislation. Subsequently, organized health professions have availed of those settings while supporting their vantage point before legislators and voters. Thus, legislative end results have been influenced by an assortment of pragmatism, political opportunism, special interest groups, health crises, technologic factors, and sincere concern for the public welfare.

Ecological Forces

Health issues related to the environment are complex and multifactorial. Environmental health problems contribute to illnesses by disrupting how the body works. Scientists suspect that many potential environmental elements lead to a cascade of biological events in the body that alters the way it functions (Maia, et al., 2019). These are highly individual and depends on an individual’s genes and conditions.

Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM): A Worthy Goal for U.S. Health Care Delivery

Practicing EBM is vital in today’s healthcare environment. This is because this model of care offers clinicians a way to achieve improved quality, improved patient satisfaction, and reduced costs (Hong & Chen, 2019). EBM is not just about using evidence to design treatment plans; it also encourages a dialogue between patients and providers (Hong & Chen, 2019). This way, patients can share in the decision-making process and make their values and preferences known. Together, patient and provider can determine an apt course of action. The following are some benefits gained from the utilization of EBM:

Presents Current, Standardized Protocols

There is a multitude of scientific knowledge being published, which makes it challenging for clinicians to stay current on medical best practices. In effect, for a primary care physician to stay up to date, they would need to read numerous articles daily. However, EBM offers clinicians a method to stay current with best practices using standardized, evidence-based protocols (Hisham, et al., 2018).

Uses Immediate Information

Health care workers currently have better access to data and more expertise due to improved technology. These include electronic medical records (EMRs), decision support systems, built-in protocols, data warehouses, and sophisticated analytics. With an improved access to health care information, staff can use EBM to provide better patient care based on near real-time data (Christopoulou, et al., 2018). These innovations can greatly decrease the time required to fill gaps in the evidence base and reduce the uncertainty in the decision-making process.

Enhances Transparency, Accountability, and Value

Patients and payers are prompting the need for the health care sector to show transparency, accountability, and value. Practicing EBM can help the industry accomplish its goal of high quality and safe care at the least possible expense (Hisham, et al., 2018). EBM commits to improve the transparency of reasoning behind its policies. Moreover, it increases accountability by justifying its decisions which are based on valid information and can measure up to enquiry. Likewise, its policies are motivated by the best outcomes for health care spending.

Promotes Greater Quality of Care

Although the U.S. devotes more of its budget per person on healthcare than any other country, there is comprehensive evidence that Americans often do not get the care they need (Shi & Singh, 2019). With EBM, care improves because providers have access to previously unavailable data and best practices scrutinized and concurred upon by peer experts (Hisham, et al., 2018).

Scriptural Integration

God watches over the sick and the needy. The terms needy and sick are frequently used interchangeably in the Scriptures. During Biblical times, the paucity of advanced medicine made the injured or sick people to become incapable of working and generating income, causing their families to become disadvantaged. In 1 Samuel 2:8, God pronounces His compassion: “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the garbage pile” (New International Version, 2011).

Furthermore, Jesus, in Matthew 14:14, “felt compassion for them, and healed their sick” (New International Version, 2011). Jesus then ordered His believers in Matthew 10:8-9 to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, drive out demons. You have received free of charge; give free of charge” (New International Version, 2011). Hence, God looks out for those experiencing physical or economic difficulties, and commands His believers to minister and take care of them.

References

Bellido, H., Olmos, L., & Román-Aso, J. A. (2019). Do political factors influence public health expenditures? evidence pre- and post-great recession. The European Journal of Health Economics, 20(3), 455-474. doi:10.1007/s10198-018-1010-2

Christopoulou, S. C., Kotsilieris, T., & Anagnostopoulos, I. (2018). Assessment of health information technology interventions in evidence-based medicine: A systematic review by adopting a methodological evaluation framework. Healthcare (Basel), 6(3), 109. doi:10.3390/healthcare6030109

Grogan, C. M., & Park, S. (2017). The politics of Medicaid: Most Americans are connected to the program, support its expansion, and do not view it as stigmatizing. The Milbank Quarterly, 95(4), 749-782. doi:10.1111/1468-0009.12298

Hisham, R., Ng, C. J., Liew, S. M., Lai, P. S. M., Chia, Y. C., Khoo, E. M., . . . Chinna, K. (2018). Development and validation of the evidence-based medicine questionnaire (EBMQ) to assess doctors’ knowledge, practice and barriers regarding the implementation of evidence-based medicine in primary care. BMC Family Practice, 19(1), 98-13. doi:10.1186/s12875-018-0779-5

Hong, J., & Chen, J. (2019). Clinical physicians’ attitudes towards evidence-based medicine (EBM) and their evidence-based practice (EBP) in Wuhan, China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(19), 3758. doi:10.3390/ijerph16193758

Kino, S., & Kawachi, I. (2018). The impact of ACA Medicaid expansion on socioeconomic inequality in health care services utilization. PloS One, 13(12), e0209935. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0209935

Lachman, K. (2019). Smart healthcare systems, wearable sensor devices, and patient data security. American Journal of Medical Research, 6(1), 43-48. doi:10.22381/AJMR6120197

Lo, A. X., Flood, K. L., Biese, K., Platts-Mills, T. F., Donnelly, J. P., & Carpenter, C. R. (2017). Factors associated with hospital admission for older adults receiving care in U.S. emergency departments. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 72(8), 1105. doi:10.1093/gerona/glw207

Maia, L. G., Silva, L. A. d., Guimarães, R. A., Pelazza, B. B., Pereira, A. C. S., Rezende, W. L., & Barbosa, M. A. (2019). Hospitalizations due to primary care sensitive conditions: An ecological study. Revista De Saúde Pública, 53, 02. doi:10.11606/s1518-8787.2019053000403

Shepherd, S. M., Willis-Esqueda, C., Paradies, Y., Sivasubramaniam, D., Sherwood, J., & Brockie, T. (2018). Racial and cultural minority experiences and perceptions of health care provision in a mid-western region. International Journal for Equity in Health, 17(1), 33-10. doi:10.1186/s12939-018-0744-x

Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2019). Essentials of the U.S. health care system (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning

Snowden, L., & Graaf, G. (2019). The “Undeserving poor,” racial bias, and Medicaid coverage of African Americans. Journal of Black Psychology, 45(3), 130-142. doi:10.1177/0095798419844129

Vahid Shahidi, F., Sod-Erdene, O., Ramraj, C., Hildebrand, V., & Siddiqi, A. (2019). Government social assistance programmes are failing to protect the health of low-income populations: Evidence from the USA and Canada (2003–2014). Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 73(3), 198-205. doi:10.1136/jech-2018-211351

Van Natta, M., Burke, N. J., Yen, I. H., Fleming, M. D., Hanssmann, C. L., Rasidjan, M. P., & Shim, J. K. (2019). Stratified citizenship, stratified health: Examining latinx legal status in the U.S. healthcare safety net. Social Science & Medicine (1982), 220, 49-55. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.10.024

Ziemann, A., Brown, L., Sadler, E., Ocloo, J., Boaz, A., & Sandall, J. (2019). Influence of external contextual factors on the implementation of health and social care interventions into practice within or across countries—a protocol for a ‘best fit’ framework synthesis. Systematic Reviews, 8(1), 258-9. doi:10.1186/s13643-019-1180-8

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