Camille Borja, Mirriel Lazaro, Melvin Revilla, Scott Sladky, and Rebecca Stuck Kaplan College
Source of Ongoing Care
The following is a synopsis of information provided on www.healthypeople.gov. Healthy People 2020 envisions a society in which all people live long, healthy lives. The mission of the 2020 initiative is to continue a plan of national objectives to encourage collaborations across communities, empower individuals toward making informed health decisions, and to measure the impact of prevention activities. We shall examine AHS-5.1, which seeks to increase the proportion of persons who have a specific source of ongoing care. Baseline data from 2008 shows that 86.4 percent of persons had a source of ongoing care. The 2020 target is a 10 percent improvement to 95 percent. The opinion of this student is that AHS-5.1 is a reasonable goal in light of present circumstances of Americans. Although a multitude of initiatives are necessary to meet AHS-5.1’s goal, this student identifies three of significance: preventative services, healthy kids insurance, and collaboration of hospital case managers upon transitioning patients. Preventative Services
With a goal set to promote the population having a source of care, ensuring the availability of preventative services is a paramount initiative. A recent trend in modern medicine is the patient-centered medical home concept: first-contact access via availability of appointments or advice by telephone for individuals who have a relationship with a primary care physician (Pandhi, Schumacher, and Bartels, 2011). By offering these services, first-contact accessibility adds benefit to improve primary care services by offering enhanced availability prior to making the decision to visit the physician. Such availability would also help to decongest busy appointment schedules within primary care. Pandhi, et al (2011) completed a study that showed eighteen percent of a group of 5507 insured adults received care via first-contact access instead of an actual visit; there was no immediate appointment necessary after utilization. Because primary care continues to be a limited and finite resource, the patient-centered medical home concept will continue to be studied and examined. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obama care) is a United States Federal Statute signed into law March 23, 2010. Aimed at decreasing the amount of uninsured Americans and decreasing healthcare costs, it provides for several methods for employers and persons to boost coverage rates. The program requires all insurers to insure people at the same rate regardless of pre-existing conditions. This alone will make insurance more available to people with severe chronic illnesses. Another provision, the individual mandate or shared responsibility requirement, requires all Americans, if not covered by their employer, Medi-care or other public insurance, to purchase private insurance or pay a penalty. Only those not financially able will be exempt from this provision. As it stands at the moment, most individuals and families unable to afford private insurance are on medical care through their state of residence. Health insurance exchanges; i.e.: a place where businesses and individuals can compare insurance policies and prices will be set up in each state. Low income Americans, including those with an income of up to 400% of the poverty level, will receive Federal subsidies on a sliding scale, according to income level. Available insurances can be purchased through these exchanges, making affordable insurance easier to obtain. Businesses employing 50 or more employees will be required to provide health care for their employees or face penalties and fines. Co-payments, co-insurance or deductibles are waived for certain healthcare benefits packages labeled part of an "essential benefits package" (Healthcare.gov, 2010). The Patient...