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Health Care Economics and Financing

Numerous sources report that the United States spends more per capita on health care than other industrialized nations. In 2010, Medicare and Medicaid Services stated that medical-related expenditures exceeded 2.6 trillion dollars; however, indications are that these high expenditures are not improving health outcomes to the degree expected. What makes containing health care costs so difficult? What are the ethical issues of balancing cost with providing greater access to health care and improving quality?

This week, you will consider health care economics and how cost influences the decision-making process regarding coverage. You will also examine the trade-offs related to cost, quality, and access—three factors that drive the health care policy process.

This week, you analyzed ethical and economic challenges concerning health care policy decisions and reimbursement mechanisms for services, that included trade-offs related to cost, quality and access.

1 1/2 pages with 3 references, APA

Required Readings

Knickman, J. R., & Kovner, A. R. (Eds.). (2015). Health care delivery in the united states (11th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

  • Chapter 11, “Health Care Financing” (pp. 231–251)

    This chapter attempts to unravel several of the complexities in America’s health care system, and it also provides an analysis of the health care/insurer/patient relationship and how hospitals are actually funded.

  • Chapter 12, “Health Care Costs and Value” (pp. 253–270)

    Rising costs of health care and potential approaches to constraining growth in health care expenditures are examined in this chapter.

  • Chapter 10, “Health Workforce” (pp. 213–225)

    This chapter looks at the nature of the supply and demand for health care professionals in the United States.

Milstead, J. A. (2016). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

  • Chapter 10, “Overview: The Economics and Finance of Health Care” (pp. 283-308)

    This chapter breaks down the basic elements of economics as they relate to health care, explaining how consumer choice combined with limitations on what hospitals can supply affects the type of care given.

Reinhardt, U. E. (2010, Jan 20). State of the nation (a special report): Voices—A good start. The Wall Street Journal, p. R5.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article describes how the U.S. health care reform bill seeks to obtain better value for the U.S. health care dollar by generating more research into cost-effective care.

Stein, R. (2010, November 8). Review of prostate cancer drugs Provenge renews medical cost-benefit debate. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/07/AR2010110705205.html

This article describes a federal review conducted to determine whether Medicare expenditures should be allocated to an expensive prostate cancer vaccine. The author details both sides of the debate on the issue.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012c). Healthcare economics and financing. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 16 minutes.

Accessible player--Downloads--Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript

Optional Resources

The following resources may support the Assignment; however, they are not required readings.

Müller, D., Zimmering, M., Chan, C., McFarlane, P., Pierratos, A., & Querfeld, U. (2008). Intensified hemodialysis regimens: Neglected treatment options for children and adolescents. Pediatric Nephrology, 23(10), 1729–1736.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Neil, N., Walker, D. R., Sesso, R., Blackburn, J., Tschosik, E. A., Sciaraffia, V., & … Bhattacharyya, S. K. (2009). Gaining efficiencies: Resources and demand for dialysis around the globe. Value in Health, 12(1), 73–79.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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