Several key issues affect the delivery of healthcare in the United States. Many individuals with or without healthcare coverage do not seek care even when they have a need. Identifying barriers to healthcare is important because of the negative effects of postponing assessment and treatment of health problems.
Factors affecting healthcare delivery are related to an individual’s circumstances and include cost of care, ability of the doctor and patient to communicate, geographic location of medical resources in relation to the individual’s location, and race, gender, and ethnicity. The cost of healthcare is a major concern and has an increased level of significance when the issue of special populations arises. For example, people without insurance coverage are more likely to wait until their illness has become less treatable. Even with insurance, some cannot afford the medicines they need or co-payments. If time off from work is too much of a financial burden, access to medical care also suffers.
Communication can also pose a substantial issue. Persons with a limited English proficiency are less likely to have a regular source of primary care and less likely to receive preventive care. They also are less satisfied with the care that they do receive and are more likely to report problems with care. People’s inability to understand the instructions that they receive from care providers increases the possibility that they will not properly take prescribed medicines or follow treatment plans.
Geography presents its own set of concerns. As of 2012, one-fourth of the U.S. population lives in rural areas (U. S. Census, 2012). Compared with urban Americans, rural residents have higher poverty rates, a larger percentage of elderly, tend to be in poorer health, and face more difficulty receiving health services (IOM, 2012). The circumstances of where you live have a significant overall effect on the number of primary-care doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other available health resources. In rural communities, a lack of transportation and distance to an emergency room or a hospital can be significant barriers to receiving prompt treatment. Local communities find it difficult to obtain and keep providers. Specialty services, such as treatments for rare diseases or expensive diagnostic equipment, are another area where lack of available resources is a concern.
In addition, if one believes medical providers will discriminate against treating them appropriately because of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or country of origin, that person is less likely to seek care in a timely fashion. Other influencing factors are related to personal beliefs about medical care and medical care providers. For instance, if you believe home remedies will work better than medical treatments, you may not see your beliefs as a deterrent to health care.
In a research paper, investigate the impact of governmental policy on healthcare. Be sure to include the following in your paper:
- Identify and examine government policies affecting healthcare costs.
- Evaluate government policies influencing quality of care in healthcare delivery.
- Identify and assess current and future challenges based upon what you have determined above.
Support your paper with a minimum of five scholarly resources within the last five (5) years. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including older articles, may be included.
Length: 5-7 pages, not including title and reference pages, APA format