The most critical healthcare expenditures in the US are nursing home care and prescription of drugs expenditures. A survey carried out in 2008 shows that the US government spends only 5.9% and 10% of its entire healthcare expenditure on nursing home care and for prescription of drugs respectively. This account for about 16% of the total current government expenditure as compared to 9% in the years the 1980s. The cost of healthcare is seen to be increasing faster than even inflation at a rate of 10% -12% in the recent past, and that is why the US is facing a healthcare crisis. Hospital and home patient care receive the highest allocation whilst these two vital sectors do not receive any attention from the expenditure allocation.
History reveals that poor-quality care has been a persistent feature of residential nursing facilities that provide care to 1.6 million people in the United States. There were some serious life-threatening problems discovered in these nursing homes between the periods of 1998 to 1999 on care delivery, this posed a great danger to the respective residents. In 1999, 26% of facilities found in the nursing home including food facilities were in poor condition, care provision was adequate by 21%, 19% contributed to injuries to citizens while 18% of treatment was administered on pressure and sores we did.
The high healthcare cost increase in the US has led to uneven distribution of funds. The allocation for these two sectors should be increased. Leiyu and Douglas (2008) For instance, indicate that; the money allocated for hospital care (31%) and physician and clinical services (21%), is extremely high as compared to that allocated for nursing home care and prescription of drugs. The child mortality rate is too high and needs attention. The prescription is made, but the drugs are not accessible which leads to deaths.
The worrying pattern is repeating itself since some diseases are expensive to treat as compared to others. The most expensive health bills were from such expenditure on cancer, heart diseases, pulmonary conditions, and mental disorders; this was indicated in 2000 survey data. Therefore, the expenses for people with one chronic condition were twice as much as non-chronic complications. It is estimated that chronic condition spending is higher than non-chronic condition spending as the survey indicated. These conditions account for 14% of the 16% of the expenditure meant for healthcare services in the US. The 2% percent left to cater for both nursing home care and prescription of drugs is insufficient. Therefore, it is not prudent for the government to overlook nursing homes at the expense of other healthcare systems.
The expenditures for nursing home care and prescription of drugs should be prioritized. The causes of poor healthcare in the US range from inadequate staff, disparities in service provision, and lack of funds. The funds that the governments allocate for this sector cannot be sufficient to help hire skilled manpower and adequate staff (Stephen and Weinberg 2007).
Recommendations to improve the current healthcare practices
To combat this persistent failure in US healthcare, a strategy that seeks to reduce or contain costs should be initiated. The planned expenditure should run across the entire healthcare system. One of the factors that can help remedy this situation is to reform the Hospital system. The policy to be implemented needs to point out areas that are highly sought by the citizens. The system should cater to both the rich and poor individuals in the US.
Healthcare homes and hospitals should be able to provide services to all those who seek the service at any given point in time. Secondly, the insurance policies, in relative terms, health care expenses are to be allocated fairly to those who can afford the insurance and ones who are not able to finance their health insurance policies. The bill that balances the payment of insurance premiums based on how much an individual is earning could save the situation. Those who earn more pay more while those with low income should pay commensurate to their earnings. This calls for the government’s attention to introduce medical insurance cover, to all citizens regardless of status.
Leiyu S., and Douglas A. (2008). Delivering health care in America: a systems approach. New York: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Stephen E., and Weinberg (2007). U.S. Healthcare on Life Support: Resuscitating the Dying System. Chicago: Denisher Press