Good Example Of Research Paper On American Healthcare System
The American health care system is a hybrid system. In 2010 the funding for healthcare came from, private funds at 50%, federal funds at 38% and the rest came from state and local funds. Healthcare is delivered privately though it is mostly publically financed (Grover, 2007). OECD, The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is a 34 member international forum committed to global development. It brings its members together to compare and discuss government policy to improve the economic and social well-being of people all over the world. The U.S. is a member country. The U.S. is ranked overall as the last in all the aspects of healthcare among the OECD members. Such healthcare aspects include: efficiency, access, length and productivity of citizens’ lives and equity. With all these poor indicators the cost of healthcare in the country is the highest among the OECD members. According to the OECD report, the U.S. spent $8508, 17.7% of its GDP on healthcare. This is far much higher than the OECD’s average of 9.3 per person.
The level of access to healthcare in the U.S. is the lowest as compared to other OECD members. The highest contributor to the low access is the cost of healthcare. This has been proved with 58% physicians stating that most of their clients had problem paying for their healthcare costs. The high cost of Healthcare in the U.S. can be attributed to the poor health insurance system in the country (Grover, 2007). First, the insurance premiums price increased by 62% from 2003-2011 which also saw a double increase in deductibles in large and small companies. Workers contributions also increase by almost 89% over the same period. This indicates increasing cost of healthcare and thus reducing access. The number of uninsured Americans is also high (Grover, 2007). This implies that these uninsured Americans pay for their healthcare directly from their pockets which is an extremely expensive way of accessing healthcare.
The other major contributor to increased cost of health care thus reduced access to healthcare in the U.S. is the cost of prescriptions drugs and new technology. The two have been identified not to be cost effective both in their development and maintenance. Increased chronic diseases, such as obesity, have also been blamed for the rise in the cost of health care. This is because healthcare costs, due to chronic diseases, consume a lot of the healthcare cost during the end of life care due to repeated hospitalization.
As compared to other members of the OECD America has almost the lowest physician per capita. According to OECD report America had 2.4 practicing physicians per 1,000 people as compared to the OECD average of 3.4 2011. Also the number of primary care physicians is low at 1.2 primary care physicians per 1,000 people thus implies that by 2025 it will need 52,000 more primary care physician to meet demand. These two aspects indicate that the access to healthcare in the U.S is limited.
Germany has been identified as having the best model for healthcare provision to its citizens in terms of quality and cost (Walshe & Smith, 2011). Germany has 90% of its population covered by 240 non-profit insurance providers with the remaining 10%, mostly, the higher income earners opting for private insurance. This leads to the cost per capita of healthcare being half that of the U.S The insurance providers are regularly regulated by the government to work towards socially desired ends. An individual employee contribution towards insurance is about 7.3 percent of his/her gross income. The premiums are not based on marital status, family size, health or risk (Walshe & Smith, 2011). There are also no deductibles and the copayments are low. The physicians are compensated through a capitation process which highly reduces the healthcare cost. The government covers the children’s premiums. The government also regulates the price of drugs through a well-structured process with the drug manufacturers (Walshe & Smith, 2011). Thus improves the quality of healthcare and reduces the cost effectively in Germany.
Grover, J. (2007). Healthcare. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Walshe, K., & Smith, J. (2011). Healthcare management. Maidenhead, Berkshire,
England: McGraw Hill/Open University Press.