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The current healthcare environment in US comprises factors such as cost, healthcare structure, alliances, healthcare management, redesign and quality. When these characteristics are combined they have implications to healthcare delivery. In US healthcare costs has exceeded spending due to development and increased use technology. Technology use has increased healthcare costs. Due to increased costs patients are facing increased medical costs, reduction in operation in back-office costs, lack of compliance to HIPAA standards, upgrade of IT structures and switching to the web to provide real time connectivity, focusing on new strategies to make a difference from other products and incumbent players. A private system of healthcare financing and delivery of service has been developed. Access to healthcare is restricted hence; patients cannot access services they need. Most Americans are not insured and can only access healthcare for serious conditions. Healthcare is partially controlled by free markets referred to as a quasi or an imperfect market. Patients are either admitted in a private health plan or Medicare, Medicaid, or SCHIP for patients who meet criteria of eligibility. Demands of healthcare services have increased due to the use of sophisticated technology and increased demands for the new services despite the diminishing resources to finance such programs.
The new healthcare system in US aims at promoting heath services at a reduced cost. For instance, making shifts in the concept of health from illness to wellness. The system will require new methods and new settings to realize the promotion of wellness. This includes a shift from acute care to primary care. In addition, there is a shift from in-patient to out-patient.
In comparing US and other countries such as Canada and Western European nations, these nations provide their citizens with universal access to health care services. In Canada, healthcare is funded by the government through general taxes but the actual healthcare delivery is provided by private healthcare providers. On the other hand, the British government is responsible for infrastructure management to ensure efficient healthcare delivery. In these systems the government is responsible for the operations of most healthcare institutions. Furthermore, medical professionals in health facilities are government employees or involved in a public infrastructure. States with socialized health insurance system (SHI), government mandated contributions towards healthcare service delivery are managed by employers and employees responsible to finance healthcare. Healthcare is delivered by private providers (Santerre and Neun, 1996, p.p 34). In (SHI), there exists a close relation between insurance payment function and insurance system than what is experienced in US. Healthcare delivery is done by private arrangements. However, the overall control over healthcare system is exercised by the government.
Health care manages should understand positioning the organization within the macro-environment of the healthcare system. He should focus on where the organization fits in the healthcare sector. A manager should assess the nature of the current changes in terms of costs, insurance and service delivery. These factors play significant roles in the long-term stability of an organization. In an organization, a manager should be able to understand how resources should be realigned to effectively respond to shifts in the health care environment. For instance, a manager should be able to identify the functions in their departments that should be removed from the system, changed or functions that should be added to the department. a manager should understand the need to involve further training to the staff. Processes within the organization that are likely to experience changes should be identified. Therefore he should present a proposal that suggest what the organization should do in order to maintain the integrity, mission, patients goodwill, and the quality of services offered. They should be able to handle threats and opportunities that the institution may face. These may present threats and opportunities in the healthcare market a form of changes in financial functions, insurance, payment, and healthcare services delivery.
A manager will be more effective if he can design ways to improve the positive results and minimize the threats into new opportunities, and be able to evaluate the effects of healthcare policy and reform proposals by having knowledge on relevant health care issues and the connectedness in healthcare services delivery system. Managers should focus on strategic planning. Proper planning considers the current trends in the healthcare environment and the implications of these trends. A manager is in a better position to capture new markets by understanding emerging trends in the market. Therefore, he should explore new opportunities before a particular market segment becomes highly competitive. This assists the management to design new marketing strategies to be competitive. A manager should be able to comply with legislations that govern healthcare system. Finally, a health care manager should understand the current patient needs, progress in technology, demand, and the economic prospects in order to improve the quality of services offered by the organization.
In conclusion, the healthcare system in US is very unique because it focuses much on human care and the regulatory environment in which it operates. Thus, the current healthcare environment is complex since the country spends a lot per individual on health care. However, US has been ranked on top of many countries in health care responsiveness and emergency and lagging behind in terms of efficiencies and performance (Varshney, 2009).