Inefficiency and Lack of Quality in Healthcare

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Introduction When Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in 1965, the gross domestic product (GDP) attributable to health care was just under 6 percent. However, according to Davidson (2013), the United States now spends 17.2 percent ($8,608 per American per year) of GDP on health care. Out of 48 countries ranked, the U.S. landed in second place (behind Switzerland) for dollars spent. On the other hand, health care quality in the U.S. ranked 46 out of 48, just in front of Serbia and Brazil. Although Switzerland pays more per capita for health care than the U.S., Switzerland’s quality ranks in the top 10 (Davidson, 2013). The organization I work for, Novant Health, is not immune to the aforementioned statistics. The problem: The U.S. health care system is costly, highly inefficient and lacks quality compared to other industrialized nations. Why has this decline in the U.S. health care system and thus Novant Health left us towards the bottom of the barrel? Methodology and Analysis The Delp-type model systems approach presented at the end of this report (Figure 1, page 6) describes the interrelationship between health care system operations, health behaviors and socioeconomic conditions and the impact each has on Novant Health’s efficiency and quality of care. Included in Figure 1 are the following contributing factors: • Chronic medical conditions • Lack of healthy lifestyles • Fee-for-service system • Fragmented health care delivery • Government subsidized insurance coverage (Medicare and Medicaid) • Uninsured due to lack of affordable health insurance • Inconsistent use of best medical practices • Limited access to primary care • Lack of preventive care • Overuse of costly medical procedures These factors can be subdivided into t... ... middle of paper ... ...y 2014, DeNavas-Walt, C., Proctor, B., & Smith, J. (2011). U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-239, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010. 1-95. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2013, Kale, M., Bishop, T., Federman, A., & Keyhani, S.DeNavas-Walt, C., Proctor, B., & Smith, J. (2013). Trends in the overuse of ambulatory health care services in the United States. JAMA Internal Medicine. 173(2), 142-148. Doi: 10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.1022 North Carolina Institute of Medicine. (2013). Characteristics of uninsured North Carolinians. Retrieved January 26, 2013,

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