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Crucial Issues in Health Care

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1.In 2004, 32.7 percent of Hispanic families, 19.7 percent of black families and 11.3 percent of non-Hispanic white families had difficulty accessing care because of lack of health insurance (U.S. Government Census Data: http://www.census.gov). What do these figures tell us about how race and ethnicity affect access to healthcare?

2.U.S. Census Bureau estimates say that by 2015, 11 million Americans in the 18-24 year age group will be without health insurance. (Source: http://www.census.gov/). What are the implications for the healthcare industry? What are the implications for the uninsured?

3.Do you think the healthcare industry has been responsive to change or has resisted change? Explain your answer. Give an example of how the healthcare industry has accepted or resisted change.

4.Based on your personal experience, do you think patients have been responsive to change or have resisted change? Give an example of how patients have accepted or resisted change.

5. What is the role of alternative medicine in the age of bio-intelligence? What factors may influence a patient's choice of a system of medicine, from the traditional to the alternative? Describe any discernible trend in favor of any particular system of medicine that you may have noticed.

6. Patients are becoming more knowledgeable about health matters and are having a greater say in health decisions. At the same time, technological progress is always changing healthcare. Do these two trends work for or against each other? Why or why not?

7. Technological improvements often eventually make commodities and services cheaper. Does that happen in the case of healthcare? Why or why not? Find at least one case of a healthcare service or equipment that has become cheaper due to technological advances. Describe the service or equipment and the health problems treated. Give estimated costs before and after the introduction of new technology

8. Do you think that the different stakeholders can work together to improve healthcare or are their interests necessarily in conflict? When stakeholder interests are in conflict, how can they be resolved?

9. Are free market mechanisms sufficient to resolve conflicts, or is government intervention necessary? Give reasons for your answers.

10. As the new manager of a health facility, what will you examine first to assess whether the facility is prepared to meet the challenges of the future? Specify the type of health facility you choose. Make a checklist

11. Read the article "Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction in the Registered Nurse" by Jennifer Kettle at http://juns.nursing.arizona.edu/articles/Fall%202002/Kettle.htm. What seem to you the three most important factors in nurse job satisfaction? Explain why these factors seem the most important to you. Keeping these factors in mind, explain what a healthcare organization can do to increase nurse job satisfaction.

Note: please list sources used to answer each question, where appliciable.

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Solution Preview

1. These figures basically tell us that there is a disparity in access to healthcare between Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics. This lack of access may be due to a variety of reasons, such as a lack of education and low socio-economic status. Therefore, it is no wonder that the groups with the least access to healthcare suffer from many more illnesses (i.e. diabetes, hypertension) that could have been avoided if they had access to preventive care.

2. Health care insurance is necessary in order to help make the health care system more efficient and less costly. When we have 11 million Americans who are uninsured, it means that those 11 million individuals are very likely to get sick more often than those who are insured because they simply can not afford care, including preventive care. Because that age group comes more in contact with other individuals (i.e. in school, at social places), and they tend to be less educated about health care, they are also more likely to get sick. Therefore, the implications for the healthcare industry are unpaid healthcare bills (leading to things such as higher private insurance premiums), increased communicable diseases, and reduction in the community's health care delivery capacity. Those problems are left to the care of the community, the government and all Americans. (Source: Undercoverage: The Uninsured and Undercovered Medical Services , 2008 http://www.amsa.org/uhc/AMSAUninsuredPrimer.pdf).

3. I think the healthcare industry has been both responsive and ...

Solution Summary

In this solution, crucial issues about health care are presented and discussed.