About the ever-increasing costs of health care

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1. Employers and the public have had deep concerns about the ever-increasing costs of health care. However, physicians, hospitals and other providers continue to express displeasure with managed health plans’ and government requirements and restrictions. In the reformed system, what combination of factors might promote the public’s freedom-of-choice in health care providers, given opportunities with Health Insurance Exchanges?

2. Hospitals and other health care institutions, whether voluntary or for-profit, need to be financially solvent to survive growing market pressures. In what ways is this “bottom line” focus changing the nature of the U.S. health care system?

3. The typical relationship of patient to physician used to be one of deference to a more knowledgeable authority. Why is it now critically important for patients take a more proactive role in their medical care?

4. Health care planners could be effective and efficient if they used the concept of the natural history of disease and the levels of prevention to design services that intervene at the weakest link in the chain of progression of specific diseases. Instead, most focus on high-technology solutions to preventable problems while experts know that high-technology solutions do not address health disparities, the major causes of diseases and disabilities. What characteristics of the medical care culture hinder the prevention focus?

5. Increasing costs and declining populations caused many rural hospitals to shift from in-patient to ambulatory care and, sometimes, long-term care services. Regulations regarding staffing and other service requirements are relaxed in rural settings. Is a two-tiered system of care being created that denies rural citizens access to the same quality of care available in urban areas?

6. The practice of medicine has undergone dramatic change. Physicians are now accountable for costs and patient care outcomes by organizations that pay for care and their performance track records are exposed to increasing public scrutiny. In your opinion, given these evolving developments, will the attractiveness of medicine as a career decline, stay the same or increase? Consider the rational points for your opinion.

Reference no: EM132190982

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