Healthcare Access

Top 4 concerns with healthcare access

Access to reasonable, quality healthcare services is essential for promoting and maintaining health, preventing and managing diseases, reducing premature death, and delivering health equality for all Americans.

We have identified top 4 concerns with healthcare access:

1. Coverage

Based on the data from Gallup:

Despite the uninsured rate rising in 2017, the uninsured rate remains well below its peak of 18.0% measured in the third quarter of 2013, prior to the implementation of the ACA's healthcare exchanges and the requirement that most adults have health insurance or be subject to a fine.

In 2016, the uninsured rate fell to a record low of 8.8%. (Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation)

Where does the Medicaid stand?

In April 2017, only 12% of U.S. adults said they wanted to see the president and Congress decrease spending for Medicaid, according to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Four-in-ten said they preferred to increase Medicaid spending, while 47% said they wanted funding levels to be kept about the same.

2. Labor Pool

Why is it that by 2030 we will be facing a shortage of between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians, despite the 28% increase in first-year enrollment at U.S. Medical schools?** First of the many reasons contributing to physician burn-out is the mountain of paperwork. Filling out paperwork requirements are a consistent job overload, and the rules are always changing. Another contributing factor is the recent influx in mergers of medical practices. Say goodbye to years of effort invested in building your own work team and profitability.

3. Cost

Perhaps the most significant topic in the healthcare debate. We know that the drug prices are skyrocketing and healthcare spending keeps rising. Hospitals were doing a great job controlling cost, until the latest report where February’s 2.2% healthcare price growth is compared to 1.6% full-year growth in 2016 and 2017 and the all-time lowest rate of 1.1% in 2015. Annual hospital price growth rose sharply to 3.8% — its highest pace since November 2009.

4. Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Based on data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suicide costs the U.S. about $69 billion annually. Why? Among the 8.9 million adults with any mental illness and a substance use disorder, only 44% received substance use treatment or mental health treatment in the past year, 13.5% received both mental health treatment and substance use treatment, and 37.6% did not receive any treatment at all. (SAMHSA)

In conclusion, hospitals and healthcare organization must address these top 4 concerns in order to keep developing a healthier population.

** “2016 Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns & Perspectives,” The Physicians Foundation, September 2016 & “Results of the 2016 Medical School Enrollment Survey,” Association of American Medical Colleges, 2017

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