Over the past several decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the cost of healthcare. At the end of the year 2015, the cost of healthcare in the United States was estimated at $3.2 trillion. This is a very sharp increase from the cost recorded in 1960 of about $27.2 billion (Amadeo, 2017). The increase in healthcare costs has greatly impacted the delivery of healthcare, and in some cases undermined the quality of health services. The increasing cost is a major burden to Americans, especially to the poor and middle-income earners. Finding quick solutions to tame the rising costs will help in improving peoples’ lives.
A major solution to the problem of rising healthcare costs is controlling the cost of healthcare. Cost control will be implemented in form of a mechanism that cuts down on the costs and prevents them from escalating. An effective way of reducing costs is hiring highly qualified nurses and physicians. By hiring highly qualified personnel, the organization will not need to spend additional finances to train them. Highly qualified staffs will also avoid common mistakes in the healthcare sector and this will save massive amounts of money for the organization. The second solution will be to lower cost of drugs by introducing universal drugs. These drugs will reduce the costs since they can be used to treat multiple health conditions.
According to Ellis and Razavi (2-12), accountable care has proven to be a good way of controlling healthcare costs. Aspects of accountable care such as the medical home model and value-based purchasing will help in holding hospitals accountable for financial soundness of their patients and this will help in lowering costs (Ellis, & Razavi, 2012). The government can work closely with Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in introducing measures that lower the cost of healthcare and at the same time improves the delivery of quality services. As a major player in the healthcare sector, the government can help in reducing healthcare costs by advocating for the introduction of development centers. The cost of healthcare has increased dramatically because of lack of improved outpatient centers (Ellis, & Razavi, 2012). With an outpatient center, hospital-related costs will be eliminated and this will help in reducing the cost. Here, the role of nurses is to ensure that outpatient centers operate effectively and efficiently.
Use of Modern Technology
Technology has revolutionized the way people attend to their activities. In the healthcare sector, technology can help in reducing healthcare costs by automating most of the processes. Although automation will raise the issue of job loss, it will help reducing the ever-increasing salary budget. Automation will also help in promoting efficiency by reducing medical mistakes and improving the speed of delivering medical services (Li, & Benton, 2006).
The increased growth of the internet and the social media provides an opportunity to lower healthcare costs. Using these tools, medical practitioners can collect a lot of information at very minimal expenses (Li, & Benton, 2006). For example, the use of online survey platforms such as Survey Monkey will unearth many health dilemmas with virtually no costs. Here, the government’s key role is to develop policies that encourage increased technology use in the health sector. The nurses have a role of embracing technology in their health practice.
In conclusion, the rising cost of healthcare has greatly impacted the delivery of healthcare services in the country. To deal with the problem, better measures of controlling costs are needed to cut down on the costs and improve the quality of health services. The use of modern technology will also help in the development of better measures of reducing healthcare costs. In the future, the quality and reliability of healthcare services will be determined by the ability to manage healthcare costs and related attributes.
- Amadeo, K. (2017). The Rising Cost of Healthcare by Year and its Causes. The Balance. Retrieved July 14, 2017 from https://www.thebalance.com/causes-of-rising-healthcare-costs-4064878
- Ellis, J. & Razavi, A. (2012). 3Ways Hospitals Can Help Control Healthcare Costs. Healthcare Finance. Retrieved July 14, 2017 from http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/blog/3-ways-hospitals-can-help-control-healthcare-costs
- Li, L., & Benton, W. C. (2006). Hospital technology and nurse staffing management decisions. Journal of Operations Management, 24(5), 676-691.