Healthcare costs in the United States have a tremendous impact on delivery and quality of care. Unfortunately, these costs have also had a tremendous impact on family incomes and insurance rates (Auerbach and Kellermann, 2011). Unfortunately, out-of-pocket costs have skyrocketed and the delivery of care for many families has been minimized (Auerbach and Kellermann, 2011). The era of healthcare reform continues to impact delivery of care in different ways and supports the continued development of new strategies to improve quality of care and treatment for millions of patients (Orszag and Emanuel, 2010).
The rising costs of healthcare play a significant role in the delivery of care; however, much is unknown regarding how these costs are distributed as compared to the services that are provided (Kaplan and Porter, 2011). Therefore, improved measurement of cost distribution must be accomplished to maximize cost efficiency and improve patient outcomes (Kaplan and Porter, 2011). This will also minimize waste and reduce duplication of effort in all areas of patient care and treatment (Kaplan and Porter, 2011). The United States lags behind many foreign countries in the provision of healthcare services and the costs associated with these services (Kaplan and Porter, 2011). It is expected that improvements in quality of care will be effective in supporting greater healthcare outcomes throughout organizations (James and Savitz, 2011).
Healthcare costs impact the delivery of care and treatment in many ways. It is important for healthcare professionals and insurance providers to continuously examine the cost of care in order to accomplish the objectives of healthcare while improving quality and promoting cost efficiency at all times. The United States faces an uphill battle with its efforts related to healthcare reform in order to remain competitive and to promote affordability of services for all patients, regardless of social or health status.
Auerbach, D.I., and Kellermann, A.L. (2011). A decade of health care cost growth has wiped out real income gains for an average US family. Health Affairs, 30(9), 1630-1636.
James, B.C., and Savitz, L.A. (2011). How Intermountain trimmed health care costs through robust quality improvement efforts. Health Affairs, 30(6), 1185-1191.
Kaplan, R.S., and Porter, M.E. (2011). How to solve the cost crisis in health care. Harvard Business Review, 47-63, retrieved from http://www.thedecisiongroup.nl/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Kaplan_Porter_How_to_Solve_The_Cost_Crisis_In_Health_Care_HBR_Sept_20111.pdf
Orszag, P.R. and Emanuel, E.J. (2010). Health care reform and cost control. New England Journal of Medicine, 363, 601-603.