The existing technologies and advancements that are made by technology in various domains of medicine are reflections of the future of medicine. While it is bright, there are still many uncertainties that are yet to be resolved. The use of technology in medicine is currently under development, and there is a lot of potential for it. Even so, there are red flags that should be taken care of before full implementation. Control and regulation of what should be done with technology are crucial, especially with the technological advancements that have been made in genetics. This essay focuses on how access, coverage, and cost affect the delivery of healthcare in the United States (US).
Access to medical and healthcare services in the United States is one of the issues that affect their delivery. The US healthcare system is one of the most complex in the world, covering a huge geographical area and serving the population. There are inconsistencies in how US citizens utilize these services. Research has shown that there are gaps in the US healthcare system regarding its access (Khubchandani et al., 2018). Patients needing emergency health services and those with chronic illnesses have a hard time finding services. The team established that it is prevalent in counties with higher percentages of Hispanic, black, low-educated, and uninsured individuals. The findings of that study were that counties with more than 10.2% of the population being African Americans had under a 20% chance of having a general emergency hospital with a surgery department. The counties with less than 1% of the population being Whites had better chances of having an emergency health facility or resource.
The issue of access to healthcare services is seemingly a systemic issue that highlights an unwanted vice in the form of discrimination. Newer approaches to address this issue seem to be heading in the same direction of failure because the root cause is not resolved. It will require the input of all stakeholders in the problem to come on board and identify policies that can help turn it around. The communities should be involved in the policy-making process for the policies that will affect them. As an innovative model, mobile healthcare will improve access to medical services in remote and rural US (Malone et al., 2020). Changes in the US health insurance structure would significantly improve healthcare services.
Coverage and access to healthcare services in the United States are directly related. They are recurrent problems that seem to stem from virtually the system itself. The US has some of the best healthcare facilities and equipment in the world. The federal government also sets aside a significant amount of its budget for healthcare (Shi & Singh, 2017). Although the resources are limited, available ones should be shared well for everyone to access them. Some of the areas that cannot access medical services in the US are remote, while others are marginalized. Systemic issues have also resulted in socioeconomic differences affecting healthcare.
There is extensive coverage for emergency medical services for the wealthy and urban centers. However, healthcare service providers seem to be focusing on areas with minority and marginalized groups. Changes in policies can help cover minority and marginalized groups to address systemic issues. The introduction of new concepts like telemedicine and telehealth can help reach out to people living in rural areas (Tuckson et al., 2017). Mobile clinics can be used in remote regions where healthcare providers can get training and equipment to offer services. The current problems in the healthcare sector can be resolved with the introduction of fairer systems for resource allocation.
The cost of services is a chronic issue the US healthcare sector faces; patients incur high costs to access healthcare services. The problem is worse in counties that are economically and socially ranked lower. People with individual insurance policies and those that can afford health services do not have any problems in the system. Health insurance services have big problems in the sector because they do not operate in a stable environment. The federal government, via the Senate Finance Committee, has been looking for ways of improving the state of health insurance service providers (Shi & Singh, 2017). The aim is to expand insurance coverage for the poor and marginalized groups so that they can access healthcare services. Strengthening the insurance markets is one of the ways to resolve the current standing issues.
The issue of the cost of healthcare in the United States is not exactly with one component in the system. It is that the system is dysfunctional when it comes to self-evaluation. Some health problems in the country can be avoided or controlled by alternate means outside mainstream medical institutions. Conditions emanating from lifestyles can be potentially eliminated if people take the initiative. There can be a medical solution for some of the conditions, but they can be avoided altogether. Practicing healthy eating habits and lifestyles is one of the most important cultures that should be integrated into the healthcare system (Brandt et al., 2018). It may be a challenge to begin, but the incentive for good health cannot be understated. The most important thing is that it is one of the most affordable ways of controlling the situation.
In a nutshell, the US health sector needs to be simplified and improve business processes for better efficiency. Access to health services, coverage of the services, and cost are major issues within the system. These issues arise from policies and strategy which makes civilians find them hard to use. Allocation of resources, prejudice, and shortage of personnel and facilities are some of the main elements that cause problems. It is worth noting that not all the issues need throwing resources at them. Some need systemic and structural improvements and stability for insurance service providers. Lifestyle changes will help lower the need for health services and effectively the cost for those who are financially limited.
Brandt, C., Søgaard, G., Clemensen, J., Søndergaard, J., & Nielsen, J. (2018). Determinants of successful eHealth coaching for consumer lifestyle changes: Qualitative interview study among health care professionals. Journal Of Medical Internet Research, 20(7), e237.
Khubchandani, J., Shen, C., Ayturk, D., Kiefe, C., & Santry, H. (2018). Disparities in access to emergency general surgery care in the United States. Surgery, 163(2), 243-250.
Malone, N., Williams, M., Smith Fawzi, M., Bennet, J., Hill, C., Katz, J., & Oriol, N. (2020). Mobile health clinics in the United States. International Journal for Equity in Health, 19(1).
Shi, L., & Singh, D. (2017). Essentials of the U.S. health care system. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Tuckson, R., Edmunds, M., & Hodgkins, M. (2017). Telehealth. New England Journal of Medicine, 377(16), 1585-1592.