The healthcare system is highly regulated because of the necessity to protect patients from incompetent assistance, inadequate delivery of care, and harmful activities of unethical specialists. That is why the work of healthcare organizations and the aspects of the delivery of care are regulated not only by the US Government but also by the non-governmental regulatory accrediting bodies.
Even though many practitioners can discuss the work of government and non-governmental regulatory accrediting bodies as restrictive and limiting the professionals’ ability to provide the required care in all the situations, these regulatory bodies influence the work of facilities and development of practices positively because of promoting the quality of care, equal and effective access to care, and the efficient delivery of care according to the standards written to protect the patients’ interests.
The government regulates and influences the work of healthcare facilities at three levels. Thus, federal, state, and local health departments play different roles in regulating the principles of the delivery of care in the United States. The government regulatory bodies work to guarantee that the care is provided for all the citizens and that this care is of high quality.
As a result, the government works not only to develop such initiatives as the Affordable Care Act but also to design the standards according to which the work of healthcare organizations is regulated (Niles, 2014, p. 101). At the federal level, regulatory and accrediting bodies are discussed as the divisions of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which include such divisions as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as well as nine other bodies (Niles, 2014, p. 102).
These bodies provide standards for healthcare organizations and guarantee that the health of the nation is protected and that access to health care is improved. Moreover, healthcare organizations are also affected by such bodies as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that controls workplace environments while making healthcare facilities improve their settings (Niles, 2014, p. 105). The federal regulatory bodies are important to guarantee the effective delivery of care at the national level.
State and local government regulatory accrediting bodies influence the healthcare organizations more directly because their primary role is the control over the provision of high-quality care. This control is realized with the help of inspecting organizations, licensing healthcare providers, certifying them, and accrediting different providers and facilities. Licensing is the most restrictive way used by state departments to regulate the activities of different healthcare organizations (Nickitas, Middaugh, & Aries, 2010, p. 106).
However, despite differences in the regulatory procedures, licensing, certifications, and accreditation are the effective methods to guarantee aligning of the facilities’ work to the national and state standards. To be accredited, practitioners and facilities should pay much attention to the organization’s performance because of the regular inspections and investigations.
Non-governmental regulatory accrediting bodies provide the organizations and practitioners with the opportunity to be accredited referring to the idea of voluntary accreditation. Such regulatory accrediting bodies as the Joint Commission and the American Osteopathic Organization influence the work of facilities significantly because of developing large surveys to examine whether organizations follow standards and principles of high-quality patient care (Saufl & Fieldus, 2003, p. 152).
The accrediting agencies contribute to the situation when healthcare organizations focus on organizing their work to meet federal and state standards. Referring to the accreditation programs, practitioners guarantee that the main quality goals are addressed (Niles, 2014, p. 158). As a result, the work of government and other regulatory accrediting agencies can be discussed as affecting the daily patient care because practitioners refer to the set standards every day, and all the activities are correlated with the requirements according to which the facility is accredited or licensed.
Government and non-governmental regulatory accrediting bodies influence the healthcare organizations and the principles of the delivery of care directly because these agencies work to promote safety concerning the provided care. All the standards developed at the federal level work to improve the quality of the care, and the agencies need to investigate and evaluate the work of facilities to provide standards of care to practitioners. As a result, organizations become more limited in their activities because of certain standards and requirements, and the quality of care and its delivery increases.
Nickitas, D., Middaugh, D., & Aries, N. (2010). Policy and politics for nurses and other health professionals. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Niles, N. (2014). Basics of the U.S. health care system. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Saufl, N., & Fieldus, M. (2003). Accreditation: A ‘voluntary’ regulatory requirement. JPN, 18(3), 152-159.