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What are the three interconnected phases of health policy making? How do they affect each other?

What are the major activities in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation/modification stages?

How does economics apply to health care policy?

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1. What are the three interconnected phases of health policy making? How do they affect each other? What are the major activities in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation/modification stages?

There are actually four phases/stages of health policy making:

(1) The entry of policy inputs (e.g., also referred to the agenda setting stage): policy institutions and individuals are exposed to stimulus from individual groups and institutions that make up society (e.g., demands of health policies or opposition to present policy; supports for previous policy making e.g., including reelection to public office or reappointment to administrative or judicial office; resources for additional policy making e.g. such as tax revenues; and costs incurred form previous policy making e.g. budgetary debts of loss of political support as a result of previous political decisions). As a result of the inputs, the agenda for the next policy making process takes shape (Rabin, 2003).

Once the agendas are set in this phase, it leads to the next phase, policy formulation.

(2) Policy Formulation: Once health policy agendas are set, policy makers work through existing institutions to enact preferred policies responses. In democracies, such as the United States or the UK, this usually involves the executive, legislative, judicial, regulatory and private sector. In United State to prevent hasty or dictatorship policy decisions, they designate policy institutions e.g., separation of policy making powers between governmental offices, the further division of policy making powers between national and state governments, and the potential review of the executive and legislative policy making by the judicial branch. Because of the divided power, U.S. policymaking is often characterized as incremental, with prevailing policymaking consisting of only modest and gradual adjustments of existing policies. One important feature of the U.S. policy making is the involvement of, and at times, the control by the private sector organizations. In the United States, slightly over half of the health care spending comes from the private sector. Subsequently, the private sector organizations have a significant input into all health making. For example, in some areas such ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the three interconnected phases of health policy making and how they affect each other. It also discusses the major activities in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation/modification stages and how economics applies to health care policy.

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Strategy Implementation - Healthcare Industry

Read Case 6, "The Health Care Industry" then answer questions 1-4.

The Health Care Industry

The health care industry has been going through major structural changes in order to become more efficient to help stem rising costs of health care. During the previous decade, health care organizations hired MBAs to help streamline their organizations, introduce new efficiencies, and market their services. In addition, many physicians are obtaining MBAs in order to help introduce better management into the health care industry. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) continue to hold down costs by emphasizing prevention, by limiting access to specialists, by requiring co-payments to make patients more sensitive to the costs of health care, and through increased bargaining power resulting from their size. There also have been mergers among health care organizations and hospitals. Unfortunately, many health care organizations have encountered financial difficulties and some have failed. The federal government also has tried to hold down costs by limiting Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

At the same time that the health care industry is struggling to become more efficient, the demand for health care is increasing and is expected o increase in the future because of an aging population, increased affluence, and advances in technology. By 2008, 7.2 percent of the US population will be 75 years or older. This compares with 5.2 percent in 1978. Actual employment levels in selected health care occupations in 1998 and projections for 2008 are as follows:

Note! See the attachment Occupations

1. Most people have some familiarity with hospitals and the health care industry. Based on your knowledge, in which quadrant of the staffing policies matrix (fortress, baseball team, club, and academy; the four distinct strategic staffing types four distinct strategic staffing types) do you think hospitals are located? Are the staffing policies of hospitals more like baseball teams, academies, clubs or fortresses? Explain our reasoning.

2. Examine the projections for the various health care occupational specialties. Are there substantial differences in the rates at which employment is expected to grow in the different occupations? How have the strategic actions by health care organizations, such as mergers, shifts to preventative approaches, and the focus on cost control, affected the expected growth of the different specialties? How is the market demand for medical care expected to affect employment in the different specialties?

3. Given the uncertainty of the demand for health care workers, how can health care organizations be prepared to meet their future needs for such employees? How can they help their employees prepare for their employment futures?

4. Do Porter's competitive strategies of cost leadership, differentiation, and niche or focus apply to hospitals or health care organizations? Explain.

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