Understanding the Challenges of the U.S. Healthcare System

Topics: Medicine, Health care, Health economics Pages: 5 (1745 words) Published: October 29, 2014
Abstract
Understanding the U.S. Healthcare system can be very challenging due to the system is constantly changing from new technology; manage care, health care reforms, aging populations and other economic factors that have a significant impact in the service provided. This paper will focus on the stakeholders involved in health care today. Who are these stakeholders? What are their roles in the healthcare industries? Understanding the public, payers, providers, and the suppliers may explain why the healthcare system continues to be challenge.

Today U.S. Health Care System is facing many challenges. According to Sultz & Young (2011), this because the growing concern that the Health Care is a large and difficult to manage and that consume over 17% of the U.S. Gross domestic product and exceeds $ 1.5 trillion in cost (p.1). Who are these major stakeholders that sometimes share and often cause conflicting concerns, interest and influence the major component on the health care system? They are the public, payers, providers, and the suppliers. The public is the major consumers of the service provided by the health system. The insured and the uninsured are both major contributors. The public is truly not aware of the real cost of healthcare services because of the third party payers or the government’s Medicare/ Medicaid program. The insured is only concern is the amount of deductible and co-pay due. The uninsured relies on the government aid and with the lack of understanding prefer ER visit instead of primary doctor visit. The public also assumes that healthcare is just like other inherits right (such as protection from the police, fire department or public education) and should be accessible to all U.S. citizens. Currently, the number of uninsured is rising, and that’s why Affordable Care Act was implemented by President Obama. The question is “How many uninsured will actually gain coverages, and whether the reform law will keep healthcare spending growth down are the two many uncertainties in the year ahead?” (Meyer & Evans, 2014, p.15). The consumers also have an organization that lobbies legislation and protection for the public. Such organizations are the American Association of Retired Person, labor organization and a disease specific group (ACS-American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association). Traditionally, patient’s behavior is very dependent upon the provider (physician), and the possibility of excessive services such as diagnostic testing can be done. Currently, internet has empowers people to seek health information. Internet plays a larger role in their diagnosis and treatment. A survey done by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project (2013), 1 in 3 American adults have gone online to figure out a medical condition, and 35 % of U.S. adults say that, at one time, or another, they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have (p.1). Internet use is becoming more popular due to easy access to the internet with smartphones. There are reliable and not reliable website that patients’ needs to be aware when searching the interment. According to Sultz & Young (2011), internet users are becoming more educated and participatory in clinical decision-making (p.59). These just challenge the doctors on how to deal with a more knowledgeable and involved patients. I see more and more patient dictating their treatment options versus before just doing what the doctor says. The payers in the U.S. health system are very influential group of stakeholders because they are the one paying for the high percentage of the cost. The payers are the public sector which includes the federal government, state and local government. The private sectors are the private insurers and business. According to the article Understanding the U.S. Healthcare System (2010), 47% of the expenditures...
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