Numerous historical aspects have shaped Healthcare delivery in the United States. Healthcare professionals understand the influence of these aspects in the delivery of service in the current context of the US healthcare system. One of the significant forces in healthcare delivery is changes in population and shifts in disease burden. DeVol & Bedroussian (2007) suggest that over 50% of the American population suffer from one or more forms of chronic diseases. The research also shows that millions of people die from chronic diseases, which has a significant effect on the American economy, as well as the financial situation of the affected individuals and their families. The inability of the government to control the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases has resulted in a considerable growth of medical expenditures, such as medical resources used in treatment, and labor supply (DeVol & Bedroussian, 2007).
The American Healthcare system has improved due to enhanced treatment techniques. This has, in turn, led to reduced disability, reduced mortality and increased quality of life. There are reduced incidences of fatalities caused by colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer. There has also been a significant increase in longevity for individuals with heart diseases. However, the rates of chronic diseases have continued to increase steadily. In the last two decades, there has been a steady increase in the number of Americans diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and diabetes which is attributed to both, an increase in the rates of obesity and life expectancy, which in turn has resulted in a large number of people living into old age.
The rates of diseases vary from state to state depending on demographic factors, such as ethnicity and age distribution. Disease rates are also influenced by urbanization, as well as differences in lifestyles with regard to alcohol abuse, smoking, diet and exercise. According to DeVol & Bedroussian (2007), high behavioral risk factors and a large number of elderly residents characterize the regions in America with the highest rates of chronic disease. Other diseases being on the rise in America include pulmonary disease and mental disorders such as depression.
The three key payers of Healthcare in the United States are the governments, employers and consumers implying that the key bodies that influence Healthcare utilization patterns in the US are the “Medicare and Medicaid programs, private insurers, and managed care plans” (Bernstein, Hing, Moss, Allen, Siller, & Tiggle, 2003).
According to Martangino (2012), the government make sure that insurance agents control the Healthcare system in the United States which is due to the introduction of a governmental agency layering that controls the way in which doctors deliver their services. The agency also designs prescription timetables that focus more on the delivery of profits than meeting the medical needs of the patients (Sal Martingano, 2012). The insurance companies and government agencies focus on controlling the wealth and influence of the Healthcare system (Sal Martingano, 2012). Martangino (2012) argues that the current Healthcare system is flawed due to the increasing focus on acquiring enormous pharmaceutical reserves and resources in order to control the population. He further argues that the only way to change the culture is by increasing the use of natural healing, as well as scientific advances in Healthcare (Sal Martingano, 2012).
Changes in the delivery of Healthcare involve a transformation in the institutional structure of Healthcare systems in the United States. Corporations have taken the place of professional sovereignty, leading to the formation of a decentralized system that will enhance control in the healthcare industry (Starr, 1982).
Bernstein, A., Hing, E., Moss, A., Allen, K., Siller, A., & Tiggle, R. (2003). Health care in America: Trends in utilization. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics.
DeVol, R., & Bedroussian, A. (2007). An unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease. Santa Monica, CA: Milken Institute.
Sal Martingano, D. (2012). Who Really Controls Our Healthcare System? Web.
Starr, P. (1982). The social transformation of American medicine. New York: Basic Books.