The Rising Cost of Health Care: Effects on Access to Care
The rising cost of health care is a trend that is negatively influencing access to health care. According to our course textbook, Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care, over 46 million Americans did not have health coverage in 2008, and 25 million American adults were underinsured (p. 124-125). For most people, this can be attributed to the high cost of premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the history of the trend of rising health care costs, the influence rising costs have on the delivery of health care, how rising costs create disparities in health care, and two ways that nurses can address inadequate access to health care. Access Trend
In the U.S., there are more people today than ever before, unable to access quality health care. “Access is the ability to obtain needed, affordable, convenient, acceptable, and effective health care in a timely fashion” (Mason, Leavitt, & Chaffee, 2012, p. 124). This lack of access is attributable to the high cost of health care, which makes it unaffordable for the working poor, and those working for small businesses, to pay for adequate health care. There is an inverse relationship between the cost of health care and good patient outcomes. It is estimated that $7,000 per person, including children, is spent on health care in the U.S., yet the country does not rank in the top 15 of industrialized countries in terms of good health outcomes (Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer), 2009). The fragmented way health care is delivered results in excess administrative costs, which translates to higher costs to consumers of health care. For those without coverage through an employer, the cost for insurance or preventative health care can be too expensive and is usually only accessed when urgently needed.
Influence on the Delivery of Health Care
One influence the rising cost of health care is having on the...
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