Health care delivery systems face very many challenges; for example, the issues of cost, quality, and access remain critical for the delivery of health care services in the US. National health services continue to face a lot of strain because the health care system is market-oriented. Investing more in primary care helps to lower costs in the long term because there will be fewer patients with chronic health problems (Madhok, 2002, p. 78). Health delivery in the country needs to be equitable to reduce the imbalances that exist based on social and ethnic differences.
The provision of high-quality care requires the formulation of radical reforms in the health delivery systems that exist in the country. It is important to monitor health care providers and the results that patients who visit them get. Madhok (2002) states that the quality of care provided should be measured through the skills that health workers have and the effectiveness of the medical services that are provided in health facilities (p. 80). The quality of health care provided should be measured by the level of patient-centeredness that exists in the health facilities. The care that is provided should be adequate for each patient and helpful as well.
The promotion of universal health care has various effects on its cost and quality. The health delivery systems countrywide have a couple of shortfalls that create gaps in health access and provision. A large chunk of the funds meant for health care services is used in the treatment of patients with chronic health conditions. Health providers have not implemented effective ways in which chronic illnesses can be managed (Atlas, 2011, p. 73). Some patients do not receive the appropriate care required for the health conditions they suffer from. These inconsistencies cause a heavy strain on health facilities and increase costs without any improvements in quality.
Managed care services, which are specialized to handle specific health conditions, offer better recuperative interventions to some ailments. Polifko (2010) reveals that nursing homes that cater to the old are crucial because they help health facilities not to be burdened by patients with age-related ailments (p. 67). Managed care services also offer mental and chronic patients better environments in which they can recuperate compared to traditional health facilities. The renewed focus on primary care and equitability in health care providers make medical services easily accessible to all who need them. These two aspects have greatly improved health care provision in the country.
Managed care services help to reduce the burden shouldered by traditional health care facilities in the country. They offer alternative health services, which help in the relaxation of the patients who visit them. The US society has been faced with problems associated with old age, mental illnesses, drug abuse, and chronic illnesses. Managed care services have specialists who offer appropriate care to the patients who visit the facilities. The focus on primary care is important because it helps people in lower social classes, who are not insured, to access health services (Polifko, 2010, p. 73). This places more emphasis on preventive care as opposed to treatment and as a result, reduces health care costs.
The infrastructure needed to put up managed care facilities requires skilled health personnel to offer effective services to patients who visit the facilities. These facilities specialize in specific health conditions, which ensures optimum use of the allocated resources. Primary health care makes health professionals interact with patients more to educate them on the best lifestyle practices that help to reduce the chances of contracting various diseases. Health care professionals can share vital information with the public on how they can stay healthy (Adashi, Geiger, & Fine, 2010, p. 2048).
Adashi, E. Y., Geiger, J., & Fine, M. D. (2010). Health care reform and primary care: The growing importance of the community health centre. The New England Journal of Medicine, 362, 2047-2050.
Atlas, S. W. (2011). In excellent health: Setting the record straight on America’s health care. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press.
Madhok, R. (2002). Crossing the quality chasm: lessons from health care quality improvement efforts in England. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, 15(1), 77-83.
Polifko, K. A. (2010). The practice environment of nursing: Issues and trends. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.