A sensitive issue nowadays is the issues of free health care for the persons with no access to insurance cover. This is putting undue pressure on the health institutions and the government. The uninsured do get funds from the government despite their lack of insurance policies. These persons’ needs especially medical hurt the government as employers and service providers and also as employers. So talking about uncompensated medical care what do we mean? This refer to that kind of medical service that given free of charge or also the kind that happens because one is unable to clear the bill (Zwillich, 2006).
To the health care organization that offers free medical care it means that they have to constantly source for funds to sustain their charitable activities. Those others that do charge for the medical care, sometimes they are faced with unpaid medical bills. These bills are incurred by persons who they classify as those who can not pay their bill because they are too poor to do it. These leave the institution with a backlog of unpaid bills which they have to waiver or classify as bad debts. This hurts also the profit margins of the organization as a result (Hacker, 2009).
To deal with this, the most prudent actions to take as an institution are: the institutions can provide the uninsured with a different option of payment. This kind of payment needs to be flexible and offering the patients manageable alternatives to pay their hospital bills. By this the patients also do not deface their credit rating.
One great example of this is the MAPTM by lifepoint. Their system is a credit card that earns low interest. With the system, the hospital is paid straight away but the patients payment is stretched to make payment comfortable. The patient can relieve their balances to prevent them from being categorized as credit unworthy.
The law should allow for and enforce that services on emergency be provided to the public irrespective of whether they are able or not to pay. However, this should not be confused with free medical care. The emergencies will be billed to the patient once they have recovered. The government should put in place policies that ensure everyone in the state has access to insurance. These include micro insurance policies for income groups in the country. This will ensure that the citizens can save for their medical covers for may be as low as half a dollar a day. This can be through national health insurance (Hacker, 2009).
The government should not offer free health care to citizens. Offering free health care will lead to congested health facilities. Those can afford paid private health will feel less motivated to visit private health institution. This is going to create waiting lists for excess patient to doctor ratio. The fund distribution system should be decentralized in case there is absolute need to provide funds for health care (Zwillich, 2006).
What are some of the realistic solutions by the private sector? This is the question that many analysts are seeking to answer. The major workable solution that the private sector can employ includes the lifepoint’s MAPTM which has had great benefits both to the patients or the card holders and the institution. It has reduced their bad debts and increased their profit margins. To the patients it has offered a greater deal of flexible payments (Hacker, 2009).
Hacker, Jacob S. (2009). The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream. USA: Oxford University Press.
Zwillich, Todd. (2006). “ACP-ASIM: Lack of Insurance Is a Health Hazard.” New York: International Medical News Group.