Identifying a Local Health Care Economic Issue

Identifying a Local Health Care Economic Issue

Health economics entails how care recipients pay for care services, how the payment is processed, and how healthcare systems can be restructured and improved (Teisberg et al., 2020). Healthcare economics is a vital aspect of the healthcare system since it defines how healthcare service recipients’ and healthcare stakeholders’ economic behavior impacts healthcare services’ cost and quality. There are different healthcare economic issues affecting health populations and communities. These issues impact the population or community’s accessibility to health and health outcomes. Therefore, it is essential to identify the healthcare economic issues facing an institution or healthcare organization and thus strategize on addressing them to improve care and health outcomes. This essay presents a healthcare economic issue selected from a specific population, the reason for selecting the issue, the Impact of the healthcare economic issue on my Work, colleagues, the organization, and the community, and the gap contributing to the need to address the economic issue.

Healthcare Economic Issue and Its Impact on the Population

Health insurance among minority health populations is the selected healthcare economic issue. Different health insurance plans are available for the general population to enable them to cater to healthcare expenses. However, not all people have health insurance coverage. The main reason for not having the covers is due to the high rates of insurance premiums. According to Glied et al. (2020), despite policies such as the Affordable Care Act that provide financial security to citizens as they use the healthcare system, most citizens still lack health insurance coverage, especially minority populations. Additionally, most of the minority populations are from low-resource settings and, therefore, cannot afford health insurance coverage.

Lack of insurance among minority populations considerably impacts the health of these populations in a number of ways. First and foremost, high healthcare costs make minority populations shy away from seeking healthcare services despite the high need. People will fail to seek healthcare services if they are unable to cater to the expenses. Failure to seek healthcare services may lead to poor health outcomes, especially for patients with chronic illnesses that require regular hospital visits, such as diabetes and cancer. In addition, these diseases are most prevalent among minority populations such as African Americans, thus negatively affecting the population members’ quality of life and health outcomes.

Secondly, the lack of health insurance prevents minority populations from getting expensive but necessary health services. More so, they may have insurance that does not cater to all essential healthcare services, thus negatively impacting their health outcomes. For instance, healthcare services such as mental illness therapies are relatively expensive but necessary. Therefore, the members of minority health populations may not access these services even though they need them.

The Rationale for the Selected Healthcare Economic Issue

The primary reason for selecting healthcare insurance as the local healthcare economic issue is that I have experienced it first-hand. I have lived among African Americans, one of the minority health populations, and I have seen the struggles they go through when getting essential health services out of pocket, especially for those without insurance coverage. As mentioned earlier, despite the availability of affordable public health insurance coverages such as Medicaid and Medicare, African Americans find it hard to afford the premiums due to their low resource settings and economic backgrounds. Additionally, public health concerns such as diabetes and cancer are most prevalent in these populations. The personal values that guided the selection of the healthcare economic issue include fairness and justice. I believe providing healthcare services to minority populations is a matter of ensuring health equity. Therefore, the health care economic issue of healthcare insurance should be addressed.

Impact of the Health Insurance Issue on my Work, community, and Colleagues

Lack of health insurance affects the quality of care for patients across different health populations. Research shows that healthcare institutions struggle to balance providing good quality healthcare services when the patients cannot pay (Blumenthal et al., 2020). For instance, in the Covid-19 era, we found it hard to provide the necessary health services, which needed a lot of expenses to patients without medical coverage. It also felt like an ethical issue since, as care providers, we are supposed to prioritize patient well-being over the monetary value of the services. However, providing good quality healthcare required money, which was a significant issue for my colleagues and me.

The community is also affected by health insurance since the incidence and prevalence of health conditions continue to increase due to the inaccessibility of health care services such as screenings and follow-ups. The gap contributing to the need to address the healthcare economic issue is addressing the healthcare services accessibility gap. In addition, the fact that minority populations have more health needs makes it essential to address the issue of health insurance.

Conclusion

The cost of healthcare continues to increase. Additionally, the quality of healthcare services highly depends on the cost/ funding, which comes from the patient’s healthcare expenses. The high cost of healthcare impacts the accessibility of healthcare services, especially for minority populations who do not have health insurance. Lack of health insurance is a major healthcare economic issue that should be addressed to enhance health equity and justice.

References

Blumenthal, D., Fowler, E. J., Abrams, M., & Collins, S. R. (2020). Covid-19—implications for the health care system. New England Journal of Medicine383(15), 1483–1488. https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmsb2021088

Glied, S. A., Collins, S. R., & Lin, S. (2020). Did The ACA Lower Americans’ Financial Barriers To Health Care? Health Affairs (Project Hope)39(3), 379–386. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2019.01448

Teisberg, E., Wallace, S., & O’Hara, S. (2020). Defining and Implementing Value-Based Health Care: A Strategic Framework. Academic medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges95(5), 682–685. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000003122

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