Future Challenges for Health Care Management
In all countries around the globe, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, public resources dedicated for the health care sector are insufficient to meet the current demand. Health care providers, as well as policy makers must determine the most effective way to meet this demand using the available but scarce resources.https://essaycastle.co.uk/coursework However, they are faced with one major problem; they cannot perfectly forecast the future of the industry. This makes it impossible to plan for, and meet tackle future challenges effectively. This paper will discuss the challenges that are likely to face the health care sector in future.
Rising costs is one of the most significant challenges. Health care costs in America for the first quarter this year have risen by about 9.9 percent. According to Pipes (2014), this is the largest increase witnesses in over 30 years. Rising costs have resulted in increased cost of health care coverage for both individuals and employers. Existing data shows that the growth in insurance premiums has a direct relationship with the growth in medical costs. Government spending on health care has a limit, and cannot go beyond a specific point (Blendon, 2013). This means that if the current costs continue to rise, then the public will have to dig deeper into their pockets. This translates to decreased access to health care services especially for citizens in the lower income groups.
Unlike in the 1980’s and 1990’s when focus was on infectious diseases, attention has shifted to chronic diseases, whose prevalence has risen in the last decade. The health sector is now faced with widespread cases of HIV/AIDS, cancer and West Nile Virus among others (Brandeau, Sainfort & Pierskalla, 2004). Multi-drug resistant bacteria have emerged leading to changing specialization that requires a shift in resources. Such problems are unforeseeable and may cause unexpected shocks to the system (Blendon, 2013).
In the coming decades, it is expected that number of US citizens over 75 years will increase from 17 million to approximately 20 million (Blendon, 2013). The current health care system has increased life expectancy and decreased death rates at a steady rate. As a result, it is expected that funding for long term care and nursing homes will increase. According to Brandeau, Sainfort & Pierskalla (2004) several factors are will derail such an increase in funds. They include reduced state budget, reduced retiree health benefits and a slow growth of the insurance market for long term care among others. This means that the elderly will experience shortages of some essential health services.
With the current rate of inflation, the cost of coverage is rising each year. This in turn affects the ability of poor citizens to buy insurance coverage. According to Pipes (2014), by 2012, 47 million Americans excluding the elderly were uninsured. As much as Medicaid is working to provide low cost insurance in order to reduce this number, it will take years before the number of uninsured Americans goes to down to few hundreds or thousands. As a matter of fact, researchers feel that the number of uninsured citizens may rise in the coming years. According to Blendon (2013), uninsured citizens receive less health care compared to those who have health insurance. Such citizens are at risk of serious health problems for lack of adequate health care. Public hospitals strain to provide health services to a large number of uninsured citizens. As the number of uninsured citizens grows, the health sector will experience increasing financial pressure unless government entities heightens it financial allocation adequately.