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Integrated Healthcare in the United States, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 661

Essay

Introduction

Integrated healthcare in the United States faces significant challenges that require ongoing consideration and focus from key experts in the field and beyond.  There are a number of critical issues to consider, as this debate continues to be addressed on the national level in many different ways. Perhaps one of the most significant issues is the degree of specialization that is encouraged in the American healthcare system, which places a tremendous emphasis on individualization rather than generalized care and treatment (Bevan & Janus, 2011). Furthermore, the financial structure of the current healthcare system does not support full integration because of the complexities of such a system and the difficulties associated with profitability (Bevan & Janus, 2011). This discussion is significant and timely because integrated healthcare is a primary focus throughout the United States, in spite of the concerns that continue to be instrumental in limiting this practice.

Analysis

Integrated healthcare systems are complex and far-reaching in many ways; as a result, they require a number of performance-based measures and objectives that physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers must meet on a continuous basis (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2010). In light of these circumstances, it is necessary to address performance-based measures as part of any integrated healthcare system and to recognize the importance of promoting efficiency and cost effectiveness in these systems to make them worthwhile alternatives (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2010).  Addressing key health disparities is essential to the development of a successful integrated  system that supports the delivery of healthcare to all persons and does not discriminate between one group or another (Office of Minority Health, 2011). Physical, mental, and behavioral services must be part of this equation so that all persons receive the care and treatment that is necessary to meet their specific needs effectively and consistently (Office of Minority Health, 2011). The mere size and scope of the healthcare system is not always conducive to widespread change, particularly integrated delivery, because it represents a sweeping shift in strategy and focus for many organizations that practice under different conditions (Wagner & Kongstvedt, 2007). The vast majority of Americans are likely to support integrated healthcare delivery because it sounds appealing, but they may not realize that this may have a significant impact on their current health coverage, if available. Therefore, misconceptions and false beliefs regarding integrated healthcare must be considered as part of a larger emphasis on this process and how it impacts individuals and their ability to receive comprehensive healthcare services in the appropriate manner. As a result, open communication regarding integrated healthcare must be considered as a means of expanding knowledge and clarifying issues that are directly related to integrated healthcare systems and delivery throughout the United States.

Conclusion

The U.S. healthcare system possesses considerable challenges and opportunities that enable organizations to take advantages in gaps in current delivery methods in order to improve healthcare quality. However, this process requires an ongoing effort to address the economics of healthcare delivery, as these concerns continue to plague organizations and contribute to significant issues that impact the quality of healthcare that is provided to patients. As a result, the integration of healthcare delivery remains a serious and longstanding issue with significant merit and the potential to revolutionize healthcare in many ways that could provide guidance and support to millions of patients throughout organizations, both large and small that operate within the United States.

References

Bevan, G., & Janus, K. (2011). Why hasn’t integrated health care developed widely in the United States and not at all in England? Journal of Politics, Policy, and Law, 36(1), 141-164.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. (2011). Pathways to integrated health care: strategies for African American communities and organizations. Retrieved from

http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/Assets/pdf/Checked/1/PathwaystoIntegratedHealthCareStrategiesforAfricanAmericans.pdf

U.S. Government Accountability Office (2010). Health care delivery: features of integrated systems support patient care strategies and access to care, but systems face challenges. Retrieved from http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-49

Wagner, E.R., & Kongstvedt, P.R. (2007). Types of managed care organizations and integrated health care delivery systems. Retrieved from http://www.jblearning.com/samples/0763739839/39839_ch02_019_040.pdf

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