Efficiency in Healthcare Delivery

Posted: October 10, 2016

Efficiency in Healthcare Delivery

The following questions and answers highlight what chronic care is and role of CMS, barriers to implementation of Affordable Care Act, and ways in which improvements in health information technology would lead to significant changes in the US healthcare.

Question: What is chronic care, why are healthcare professionals so concerned about it, and what does CDC recommend we do about it?

Answer: Chronic care is a type of medical care that addresses previous or long-term ailments.  Examples of diseases that require chronic care include Asthma and Cancer.  Other medical conditions include congestive heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and liver cirrhosis. Besides, if deprived of proper treatment, chronic illnesses may result in disability. Therefore, chronic care is significant in controlling and limiting such conditions, which would otherwise reach an extreme level that would cause death (Coleman et al. 2009). Concerning this, healthcare professionals have put much concern on it to ensure it is properly administered to avoid or minimize the effects of chronic diseases since such conditions are long-term. Furthermore, CDC recommends the use of Chronic Health Care System Interventions, as a strategy to improve efficiency in delivery and use of clinical, counteractive measures such as chronic care.

Question: What is CMS, what does it do, and why should healthcare professional keep track of its activities? 

Answer: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is a state-owned body in the US health division and Human Services (HHS) that governs the Medicare programs. Additionally, it also collaborates with the state governments to oversee Medicaid, the States’ Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). At the same time, CMS plays a significant role in streamlining convenience of the health insurance standards. Also, CMS has more duties, including the executive overview on standards in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), certification, quality management, and equipment standardization in nursing homes through its systematic surveys. However, healthcare professionals need to keep a close watch on the CMS to monitor efficiency as it directly affects the patients’ healthcare welfare.

Question: What are two of the most important barriers to the continued effort to implement the ACA? 

Answer: According to Shi and Singh (2015), the Affordable Care Act (ACA) faces a risk of improper implementation due to a large number of people who were previously uninsured. Besides, an estimated 25 to 30 million US citizens are likely to be left out. Additionally, ACA is characterized by undefined health costs. This problem could be attributed to the ACA’s experimentations, which employed untested health care delivery models that could create interruptions in access and costs of healthcare insurance. Another barrier to ACA’s implementation is the numerous legal actions and cases filed against some of its activities. For example, several lawsuits raised by the Catholics and other religious organizations on the use of contraceptives, derail implementation of ACA.

Question: In what two ways will developments in health information technology will cause important changes in the US healthcare?

Answer: Improvements in information technology for health sector would yield changes in the US healthcare system, for example, installation of modern technology will enhance access and the free flow of information among healthcare practitioners and other stakeholders. Records will easily be accessible especially during emergencies. Also, feedbacks and government monitoring of the standards of healthcare facilities and quality of service will be enhanced. Systems such as E-health technologies provide remarkable schemes through which health professional can virtually interact with patients hence save on travel and excessive consultation costs. The second way as Shi and Singh (2015) puts it; the advancements in healthcare information systems enhance efficiency in other sectors such as insurance, which work in close collaboration with the health sector. 

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