Elderly Care in America: A Comparison With Research Paper

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Elderly Care in America: A comparison with England's Healthcare System

Healthcare in America vs. Healthcare in England

Different countries have varying healthcare systems across the world and the systems are set to benefit the local population with the best possible care as would be dictated by the budgetary allocations and supported by the economy and the GDP of the particular nations. There are different sections of the healthcare system that try to cater for each section of the populations and this paper will specifically be concerned with the healthcare systems in the U.S.A. And in England, particularly directed at the elderly in the society. It will look at the healthcare system that prevails in the U.S.A. And the tenets that define it as well as the system that prevails in England, then the paper makes comparison of the two systems as well as highlight the differences that there are between these two systems.

Healthcare in America

The healthcare system in America has undergone several changes to become what it is currently. It has increasingly become important to the elderly people and those under the last days care who are dying. The number of the elderly is increasing each year with the baby boomers getting out of formal employment due to retirement and this burden is passed on to the national government and the younger generations still holding employment positions. In the 2008 census, there were 39 million citizens who had attained 65 years and above in America which accounted for close to 13% and the estimates and projections had it that by 2030 there would be around 72 million Americans in this category. By the year 2030, the baby boomers shall have acquired the 65 years bracket and above which will account for close to 20% of the American population. The longer life for this generation means there are related expenses that have to be taken over by the state. The inflation, the annual health care cost keep making it harder for the senior citizens to earn a robust life style. It is estimated that in 1992 the annual healthcare cost was $9,224 and it rose to $15,081 in 2006, and this trend is meant to keep rising each year as National Institute of Aging (2008) puts it.

There are a number of groups that qualify for the Medicare and Medicaid funds in the U.S., which is a health insurance program for the elderly. These groups are citizens who are of 65 years and above and are eligible to the social security, civil service retirement or the railroad retirement. The Medicare has the outpatient care whereby it takes care of the fees of the physician, the nurse and the physician assistants' fees. It also takes care of the emergency services, the ambulatory services in the situation that other means of transport may endanger the life of the patient. The outpatient surgery is covered here too hence benefiting the elderly. It also takes care of the rehabilitation of the elderly, diagnostic tests, outpatient mental health care, outpatient dialysis, diabetic patients and their supplies as well as the durable medical supplies in the healthcare system under the Medicare. The Medicare also provides the home health care which includes the personal care, help with eating and bathing as well as dressing, home health aid, social services, medical supplies like wound dressing but not prescription drugs. It also covers the long-term care in an assisted living community with the elderly and those in end-of -- life care being helped in the daily activities, being helped in the recreational and social activities and some aspects of health care. The Medicare also has the provision for the Hospice care where there is physical care for the ill and the elderly as well as counselling of the patients, it also pays for the rooms and the meals that these patients eat during the inpatient care and the short-term hospitals stays that they may be subjected to. The hospice care is provided for on the basis that a physician has certified that the patient is terminally ill with an estimated life expectancy of 6 months. However, the patient can only benefit from this hospice care when he decides to forfeit the standard Medicare benefits (Merck Manuals, 2014).

The new Medicaid system has extended the coverage of Americans in the healthcare system and has an intentional approach towards ensuring the elderly are shielded against the high medical bills by providing the comprehensive and affordable cover which has so far benefitted millions of Americans. Further, the healthcare system requires that the insurers adopt a more social approach to health covers by covering people with pre-existing conditions which was not the norm there before. This is specifically seen to be beneficial to the elderly and the people with terminal illnesses and in the end of life care. The elderly are known to be very prone to diseases that may affect their health significantly, referred to as the pre-existing conditions. This provision has greatly liberalized medical insurance and spurred competition hence many more insurance companies have come up in the recent past. The health system also offers subsidies to the elderly and the people on end of life care yet cannot afford to have their health insurance paid for and their medical bills overwhelm them. The ultimate goal of the Medicaid as newly introduced in the U.S.A. is to reduce the number of the uninsured elderly people and generally there has been a drop in this number by a significant 40% (New York Times, 2014).

There are different parts of the Medicare that are specifically tailored towards the care of the elderly and the end of life care beneficiaries. One such section is the Medicare part A which predominantly centers on old age care and the hospice services. It covers the nursing home care as long as the custodial care is not the only care that the beneficiary needs. It also gives the provision for the Hospice services and if an elderly person qualifies for the hospice service then they will have a specialized team as well as the support staff that would help the elderly person and the terminally ill to go through their situations and cope with the illness. The hospice team will also work with the family members to set up a care plan that will meet the needs of the individual elderly person or end of life care beneficiary. The elders in America have the provision of getting the home health services, where the eligible home services for instance the intermittent skilled nursing care, speech language pathology services, physical therapy, continued occupational services among others are provided for the elderly and those on end of life (Medicare.gov, 2014).

The health care system also has the provision of Medicaid which in the U.S. is a joint venture between the federal government and the state with the aim of providing health insurance on a voluntary basis. This cover is extended to the poor people, the people living with disabilities and the impoverished elderly people. In this plan, the participating states are required to give the specified care to the beneficiaries with the guidelines that are formulated by the federal government (American Dental Association, 2014).

The American health system also puts a lot of control of the health of the elders in their own hands. It lowers the costs for the American seniors by incentives like the 50% discount on the brand name drugs and also strives to close the gap of the prescription drugs for the elderly. The Medicare also works to fight fraud, waste and abuse of the resources of the elderly. The plan reduces the harmful and unnecessary hospital admissions. The care plan also helps the elderly in seeing into it that deductibles, copayments as well as other cost-sharing especially for the preventive care in Medicare are eliminated. It also provides the elderly with the annual wellness check-ups. The healthcare in U.S. gives priority to the medical homes since it allocates a significant share of funds to ensure that there are innovative equipment within the medical centers that would ensure the chronic disease that often affect the health of the elderly are well handled. The transitional care of the elderly is widely taken care of by this scheme through ensuring that the there is a link between the hospital and the care facilities and in that manner having a more effective transitional care. The care system is also such that the providers who give quality healthcare to the elders are rewarded, this then ensures that there is provision of quality health services to the elderly people but also that the care is consistent bearing the rewards to the providers.

The plan ensures the elders are protected from abuse and neglect through the Elder Justice Act. This Act ensured the financing of the services that provide long-term quality care for the elderly. It also brings accountability among the staffs that work with the elderly in those care facilities that…

Sources Used in Document:


Advanta Home Care, (2014). East Vs. West: How we Treat our Elderly. Retrieved December 5, 2014 from http://advantahomecare.net/east-vs.-west-how-we-treat-our-elderly

American Dental Association, (2014). Oral Health Topics: Medicaid and Medicare. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from http://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/medicaid-and-medicare

National Institute of Aging (2008). Americans Living Longer, Enjoying Greater Health and Prosperity, but Important Disparities Remain, Says Federal Report. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from http://www.nia.nih.gov/newsroom/2008/03/americans-living-longer-enjoying-greater-health-and-prosperity-important

New York Times, (2014). Is the Affordable Care Act Working? Retrieved November 26, 2014 from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/27/us/is-the-affordable-care-act-working.html#/

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