Competition in Healthcare

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In today’s ever-changing medical field, with the cost of health care continuing to rise, patients are expecting a higher level of service. Today’s patients are not only looking for high-level organization with physicians and nurses; they are also looking for the best value. With the explosion of the World Wide Web and the limitless information found there, today’s patients are more informed and knowledgeable than ever before. Patients are armed with hospital ratings and physician dashboards, information found on blogs, and review sites. They have become true consumers who look for the very best care at the very best price. Knowing how patients feel about the service they receive and whether they are satisfied or not has become critical to the future of health care organization. This is where competition within the healthcare field comes into play. “Healthcare executives and organizations that don't adjust to a more competitive future surely will struggle if not fail” (Burda, 2008). Some experts believe that there is no place for competition in healthcare because patients do not truly understand medical practice, and because there are so many specialties, and because the majority of care is paid for by insurers, employers and government agencies (Institute, n.d. a). On the other hand, other experts claim that there is too much competition in healthcare, causing “duplication, excess investment, and wasteful administrative costs” (Institute, n.d. a). Community hospitals typically cannot compete with specialized hospitals and outpatient facilities (Institute, n.d. a). Competitive healthcare typically does not endorse or create value for patients. It ultimately creates increased revenue and re-assigns costs for the organization, and can limit services to the patients (Institute, n.d. b). Oppositely, it can also improve the quality of care received, keeps costs low, and cause great strides in new technology and improved services (Federal, 2009). This...
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