Reducing The Costs Of Health Care While Improving Population Health

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“The United States spends a larger share of its gross domestic product (GPD) on health care than any other major industrialized country” (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation [RWJF], 2002). However, American’s health is not better than that of citizens of comparable countries. Health care in the U.S. is expensive for numerous reasons. Newer technology, lack of standardized health plans, overuse or misuse of services, and highly paid medical professionals are a few factors that contribute to costly care. The identified concepts addressed in this paper will help reduce the costs of health care while improving population health. First, changing the face of medicine in America from curative to preventative would reduce the cost of care in the long term. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2009) 31% of the total health care expenditure is hospital acute care. Therefore, more emphasis on transitioning long-term patients to quality home health programs will relieve cost of care for the elderly and chronically ill patients. The final concept to lower cost and improve patient care is continuing to promote coordinated care through evidence based medicine when treating and discharging patients from the hospital. The U.S. Government realizes the eminent need for change to reduce health care expenditure and advance medical care to become higher in quality and more efficient. Enaction of the ACA is an attempt to lift the burden of cost, gain access, and improve health for all Americans. Though, the ACA is not enough to fix the health care issues. The ACA success will be enhanced by placing a focus on preventative medicine that is coordinated and evidence-based, along with an emphasis on quality home care. These strategies wil... ... middle of paper ... ...ed in this paper could have a profound positive effect for the future of medicine in America. It is imperative that health care practitioners utilize EBM and assure care is coordinated for all patients. Health care from the patient’s home would reduce cost of rehabilitation, decrease the chance for hospital readmission, and improve patient satisfaction. Most importantly the thought process of American health care providers must change from merely treating patients to promoting prevention of disease through healthy living education in everyday practice. There are no resolute actions that will lower U.S. healthcare spending quickly. Implementation and promotion of coordinated EBM, quality home health care, and focused preventative health initiatives, the U.S. will be on the path to improving the health of the population while decreasing the per capita cost of care.

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