History of the U.S. Health Care Delivery System

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Introduction:
In order to understand current health delivery services changes and formulate predictions, one must thoroughly comprehend the three developmental eras of the health care system. The evolution of our current health care system began in 1850, and has metamorphosed in three time periods, 1850 to 1900, 1900 to World War II (WW II), and WW II to 2009. Significant distinct and overlapping trends in disease prevalence, availability of health care resources, social organizations, and the public's knowledge and perception of health and illness and technology. Disease Prevalence

1850 - 1900: Epidemics of Acute Infections
These public health disasters were related to the congested and unsanitary food supply, sewage disposal, and living conditions of the time. By 1900, cities and health departments which lead to improvements in the water works systems, sewage disposal, urban housing, and laws to safeguard the purity of foods had addressed these conditions. Thus, those epidemics that had wrecked havoc on humankind for centuries were virtually eliminated. (Writer, Dominguez, 2011, 2-6)

1900 - World War II: Individual Acute Events
Individual acute events such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, heart disease, nephritis, and accidents were the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The health care pendulum shifted from the global disease of the population to personal diseases of the individual. Trauma became a noted individual entity contributing to increased individual acute morbidity and mortality. (Writer, Dominguez, 2011, 2-6) World War II - 2009: Chronic Illness

Chronic illness such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, blindness, immune deficiencies, and the effects of trauma are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The discoveries of insulin in 1922 and of penicillin in 1928 revolutionized medical care and radically changed mortality trends. People are living longer, and chronic diseases secondary to the cumulative...
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