The US healthcare industry is constantly evolving and changing in terms of financing, organization, insurance, and other aspects. All medical organizations conduct their activities using advanced technologies and provide highly qualified medical aid. The health system ensures the right to receive medical care, develops scientific research, and introduces modern methods. However, the influence of financial factors contributes not only to the improvement of the system but also to an increase in the need for medical care, which people cannot afford. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the US healthcare and evaluate the impact of financial factors on this system.
The Impact of Financial and Economic Factors on Health Care
Efficient use of financial factors influences the prosperity and the success of any medical organization. Deficient financial planning of income and expenses, poorly developed organization of the provided care, and technical irregularities can lead to instability in the work of institutions. Health care in the USA takes one of the first places in the world in the quality of medical care, but the system is “not coordinated, comprehensive, or integrated” (Puffer et al., 2015, p. 598). Also, the efficiency of medical organizations in achieving their goals is influenced by the economic situation in the country. The economic crisis causes unemployment, wage-cut, poverty of part of the population, inability to pay insurance or get paid medical care.
Funding Sources and Reimbursement Methods
Over the years, medical research in the US had great support and received about half of the global funding. Nowadays, the growth rate of science funding has fallen to 0.8% per annum (Moses et al., 2015). The allocation of funds from national health institutes does not correspond to the burden of disease; for example, cancer and AIDS receive disproportionate support. Health research accounts about 0.3% of total health spending or 1/20 of science funding (Moses et al., 2015). Health systems rank 19th among 22 industries of investment in innovation, and private insurers rank last (Moses et al., 2015). The total US share in global research funding is declining from 57% to 44% (Moses et al., 2015).
The current situation can be improved by using new sources for long-term investments and reimbursement methods. They are rates for procedures and service, reimbursement for specific episodes of care, and incentives and lowers risk for coordination of care. Foreign capital repatriation, biomedical research bonds, support of ambitious research projects, and formation of research innovation trusts can be used to improve the provision of medical services (Moses et al., 2015). Private foundations, clinics, and charitable organizations can support research since the healthcare business is a growing industry that brings huge profits and provides a high level of medical care.
Relationship between Socioeconomic Status and Health Outcomes
The Affordable Care Act is one of the most radical and costly laws in US history, fundamentally changing the health insurance system and the healthcare system. It is based on the obligation of US citizens to obtain health insurance if they are not insured. As a result, the total number of uninsured, those who lacked a personal doctor, did not have access to medicines or was unable to pay for care decreased (Sommers, Gunja, Finegold, & Musco, 2015). However, the ACA remains a law with an almost equal number of Americans opposing and supporting it. The ACA forced many insurance companies to close their plans, and employers to fire workers or transfer them to part-time work. People with low socio-economic status cannot afford insurance, and therefore, pay for most medical services. For many Americans, a right for health care becomes a privilege that cannot be obtained at a health facility.
The Fiscal Responsibility, Cost Containment, and the Role of the Nurse
Nurses provide high-quality care to patients and have an impact on managing healthcare cost containment. A nurse is a permanent medical worker in contact with the patient who provides first help, monitors patients, and gives psychological support to patients and their relatives. Nurses play an important role in working with information, creating adequate schedules, and organizing staff communication (Smolowitz et al., 2015). The financial responsibility of nursing is to maximize the health benefits of the most cost-effective combination of resources. Functioning in healthcare organizations where the main purposes are cost containment, performance, and effective care affects the ability of nurses to work as professionals by their medical practice, knowledge, and values.
A Vision of an Ideal Health Care for America
The ideal health care system for America is a universal system that is accessible to all citizens, regardless of whether they can pay for it. In such a world, the care is carried out around the clock and is integrated with evening care centers and home care centers. There are communities of doctors and nurses who conduct monthly examinations of families. Medical staff advocates and offers free vaccinations and preventative measures for chronic diseases. Strategies to support public health implemented and the redistribution of public finances into the development of home treatment and early response measures. The main investor in health programs are the state social organizations. In medical institutions, programs are implemented to increase public activity, educate patients, develop social marketing, and promote health.
To sum up, the United States health care is a complex, evolving system influenced by many financial factors and state control. Medical organizations provide highly qualified assistance and use the achievements of scientific research, efficient methods, and modern technologies. However, currently, the health care system has difficulties in functioning organization and management of the work of institutions and is too expensive for part of the country’s population.
Moses, H., Matheson, D. H., Cairns-Smith, S., George, B. P., Palisch, C., & Dorsey, E. R. (2015). The anatomy of medical research: US and international comparisons. JAMA, 313(2), 174-189.
Puffer, J. C., Borkan, J., DeVoe, J. E., Davis, A., Phillips Jr, R. L., Green, L. A., & Saultz, J. W. (2015). Envisioning a new health care system for America. Family Medicine, 47(8), 598-603.
Smolowitz, J., Speakman, E., Wojnar, D., Whelan, E. M., Ulrich, S., Hayes, C., & Wood, L. (2015). Role of the registered nurse in primary health care: Meeting health care needs in the 21st century. Nursing Outlook, 63(2), 130-136.
Sommers, B. D., Gunja, M. Z., Finegold, K., & Musco, T. (2015). Changes in self-reported insurance coverage, access to care, and health under the Affordable Care Act. JAMA, 314(4), 366-374.