Controlling Health Care Costs Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare Issues

The healthcare industry is in turmoil. Ironically, there are many sides and perspectives to the argument because healthcare in this country is and always was a major part of all aspects of life. We cannot just say 'let's fix the doctors' and all the problems go away. Every single man, woman and child as well as every single private and business decision in one way or another is affected by the existing healthcare cost situation. Most people do not consider that even the price of milk in their grocer's store or the overall cost of their automobile has in some way been affected by the crisis in healthcare. Consider a simple business decision like hiring a new employee in any business sector. This relatively mandatory decision comes with all types of hidden healthcare related concerns. In the private sector, consider a family member deciding to go to college. Health insurance has become a mandatory necessity of our educational system so every student has to be covered by some type of insurance -- whether it is mom's or if the school pays for that coverage, obviously the overall cost of that education has been altered. Who really thinks about these things in those ways? In the same sense, healthcare costs and reforms from a medical and healthcare industry perspective is also directly affected by healthcare costs. The industry is at a critical level in regard to recruiting and maintaining adequate staffing of nurses, doctors and even janitors not to mention the bureaucratic process for billing. Healthcare reform is at the heart of all these hiring decisions because the nurse's salary has to be taken care of by somebody. Our Medicare trust fund is almost completely broke at a time when our nation's population continues to grow older and is in need of even more medical attention. So do people over 65 have to get there medicines from Canada because the United States' pharmaceutical companies continue to lobby Congress for less reform and increased pricing on their multi-colored pills? These concerns and millions of others are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discussing healthcare reform. Fox News says that President Obama is a socialist at heart because he has the nerve to try to deal with this nightmare of an issue, but the truth of the matter is that he has simply adopted a huge mess that has been in the works for a long time. Unless we all stop doing what has clearly not been working, this current healthcare crisis is going to force this country to implode.

In Favor of Controlling Costs Through Staffing

One aspect of the healthcare crisis that can instantly produce cost reform is staffing. The healthcare staffing shortages have become a serious concern in the industry because of the associated costs related to overtime, increased stress on existing workers in regard to medication errors, poor wait times in emergency rooms and even blatant bad care in areas like nursing homes and disability centers. Shortages in staffing are a direct cause of low morale and high turnover, but the industry tries to minimize the problems. It is more than obvious that there are some huge staffing gaps to fill. "Studies have tried to elicit and predict reasons for high staff turnover in order to limit cost and adverse effects on morale, enthusiasm and organizational reputation." (Joshua-Amadi)

As the problem of recruitment and retention grow, it would seem obvious that the industry's management would do more to increase morale or motivation of the existing workforce. There is far more that can be done. "Analysis identified that organizational commitment is most related to personal factors, opportunities for learning, job satisfaction, plan for retirement, monetary benefits, patient care, coworkers, cultural factors, and job security, in that order. Lack of organizational commitment is most related to conflict with personal needs. However, lack of learning, lack of appreciation and fairness, inadequate monetary benefits, patient care situations, poor relations with coworkers, career developmental stage, and lack of job security are also discussed." (McNeese-Smith)

The problem seems to be growing and the overall cost is a hidden bomb shell. Over the next few years, there will be an ever greater demand for nurses and skilled healthcare employees. The demand will grow in proportion to the aging American workforce. As the workforce…

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