Strategic Planning Present How Strategic Planning Performance Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Strategic Planning

Present how strategic planning, performance improvement, and information systems are interrelated and fundamental to the delivery of quality health care.

Over the last several years, the health care system has been facing considerable challenges. This is because the total number of patients is rapidly increasing and costs are rising. Evidence of this can be seen with a study that was conducted by the Kaiser Foundation. They found that insurance premiums for employer sponsored plans have increased by 97%. Commenting about these issues the report observed, "Health expenditures in the United States neared $2.6 trillion in 2010, over ten times the $256 billion spent in 1980. Addressing this growing burden continues to be a major policy priority. Furthermore, the United States has been in a recession for much of the past decade, resulting in higher unemployment and lower incomes for many Americans. These conditions have put even more attention on health spending and affordability. In the public sector, Medicare covers the elderly and people with disabilities, and Medicaid provides coverage to low-income families. Enrollment has grown in Medicare with the aging of the baby boomers and in Medicaid due to the recession. This means that total government spending has increased considerably, straining federal and state budgets. In total, health spending accounted for 17.9% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010." This is troubling as it is showing how the industry is facing major challenges associated with rising costs and demand. ("U.S. Health Care Costs," 2011) (Lorenzi, 2005)

These areas were selected because they are having an impact on consumers, government programs, insurance companies, professionals and health organizations. If left unchecked, this problem will have an adverse impact on quality, choices and the delivery of solutions. To fully understand what taking place there will be a focus on how strategic planning, performance improvement and information systems are related. This will be accomplished by looking at the problem and different sources on the subject. Together, these elements will provide specific insights as to the most effective approach for addressing these challenges. (Lorenzi, 2005)

Statement of the Issue to be investigated

The issues impacting the sector are problematic. This is because they are slowly making health care less affordable for everyone. In many cases, this occurs with patients having to pay for a larger amount of the services they are using and higher health insurance premiums. To make matters worse, the federal government and states are implementing major cutbacks to programs such as: Medicare and Medicaid. This is from these entities having fiscal problems attributed to the lingering recession and higher costs for health care. ("Medicaid," 2012) (Seefelt, 2012) (Wagner, 2009)

If some kind of changes are not introduced the number of uninsured will increase exponentially. While at the same time, those individuals who are using Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance will not have access to the services they need (at affordable prices). When this happens, there is a realistic possibility that the majority of the population will be priced out of the health care system. This will cause costs to increase further by not dealing with the medical issues early through preventive medicine. However, larger numbers of people will die every year, because they cannot afford these services and ignore their health issues until it is too late. This will affect quality, costs and the availability of treatment options ("Medicaid," 2012) (Seefelt, 2012) (Wagner, 2009)

Research Sources

According to Seefelt (2012), the current economic challenges are having an adverse impact on the poor, elderly, middle class and upper middle class. This is because of: the recession, its lingering effects and the inability to have access to health care are destroying the standard of living for tens of millions of Americans. To determine this, the study focused on looking at different research that was conducted and government figures. This was accomplished by examining hundreds of documents. What the findings determined, is that the current challenges will adversely affect large segments of the population including: increasing the number of uninsured, reducing the benefits provided to many government programs (based on budgetary concerns) and more people not seeking out treatment due to the lack of financial resources. (Seefelt, 2012)

These issues are showing how this will have an impact on large segments of the population. From a legal prospective, everyone has a right to health care. However, if they cannot afford the fees, these services will not be provided. Ethically speaking, the fact that there are such challenges is troubling. This is because a large number of people are priced out of the system. When this happens, there is a realistic possibility that the disparities between the wealthy and everyone else will become more severe. Socially, there are divisions about if the government should provide additional support and personal responsibility for the individual. (Seefelt, 2012)

These contrasting views are fueling the political debate about possible solutions to address the challenges facing the system. In the past, there have been attempts to reform health care. The problem is that any kind of changes are met with heated opposition and dramatically scaled back. This has reduced the effectiveness of all programs (by ensuring that the status quo remains in place). If nothing is done to address these challenges; the divisions between the different economic, social and ethnic groups will become more extreme. (Seefelt, 2012)

After analyzing this research, it is clear that the problems with the health care system are becoming compounded by: stagflation, budget cuts, rising prices and increasing demand. The way that this was accomplished is through using qualitative research. Then, examining various sources and conducting an objective analysis of the issues. (Seefelt, 2012)

The study was conducted through the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Seefelt is an Associate Professor and has been examining these issues for a number of years. What the report determined is that over the next ten years, there will be dramatic changes to the health care system. This will occur based on economic realities, disparities in coverage and the political situation in Washington. These factors are showing how strategic planning, performance improvement and information systems are all interconnected in the delivery of health care solutions. When there are challenges facing any one of these areas, there will be considerable problems that will impact quality, costs and the availability of treatment options. (Seefelt, 2012)

Moreover, Berenson (2012) determined that the current system is increasing the difficulties impacting many different segments in society. Most notably: the poor, elderly, self-employed, and middle / upper middle class. This is because the rising costs for services are leading to a decline in coverage for these demographics. However, the home health model has been shown to be an effective way of addressing these issues. This is when everyone if provided with a primary care doctor who will conduct preventive medicine (i.e. physicals and routine checkups). If the person needs more specialized treatment, they have to be referred to these physicians from their primary care doctors. Moreover, technology is used to keep everyone on the health care team up-to-date about the patient's condition. To ensure that they are making their routine visits, emails and text messages will be sent to them as reminders. (Berenson, 2012)

According to Berenson, this will streamline costs and keep up with increasing demand. The sample size was approximately 1 thousand adults (who were in the different segments that are most vulnerable). The findings are showing how the home health model can help recipients to address these challenges. While at the same time, this approach is keeping the costs down. This is important, in providing possible solutions for dealing with the lingering problems impacting the health care system. (Berenson, 2012)

The projected effects of this approach are that health care costs will begin to slowly decrease and then level out. From a legal perspective, this reduces potential litigation about someone being denied treatment (when they are sick). Ethically, this ensures that all of the other segments of society have access to same kind of solutions in contrast with the wealthy. This is when these disparities between the different classes will disappear. Socially, this is protecting the standard of living for various demographics and it is improving their underlying levels of health (through focusing on preventive medicine). (Berenson, 2012)

The information from this source is useful in providing specific ideas about how to possibly address the challenges impacting the health care system. What researchers were focusing on was how different problems are impacting numerous segments and then comparing them with other ideas. The target population was those individuals who are from low income, minorities and specific age demographics. This provides insights about how these problems are affecting numerous segments of society. (Berenson, 2012)

What the study determined, is that if some kind of changes are not introduced there will be tremendous challenges affecting: the quality of care, treatment and the availability of services. This will create groups that will have access to these services. While others, are…

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