Health care cost
Patient care financial problem is one of the reasons why today’s populations are unable to receive high quality care that they need to achieve improved health outcomes. The problem of huge health care cost is a big burden to low income earners who always lack adequate finances to purchase drugs and to pay for hospital bills (Kelley, McGarry, Georges, and Skinner, 2015). It becomes even worse for patients who are suffering from chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cancer.
According to Kelley et al., (2015), dementia is one of the chronic diseases that are attracting large social costs for patients in the United State. For this reason, being a fatal health condition, many dementia patients in the United States are dying due to patient care financial problem. Patient care financial problem has an impact on federal and national budgets. Nurses play a very big role in ensuring that patient care financial problems are integrated into the national and federal budgets by analyzing information that may be required for budget development (Luga & McGuire, 2014)
Health care cost: Heath insurance
Lack of health care insurance and high costs of prescription drugs are the most common patient care financial problems in today’s society. According to Saksena, Hsu and Evans (2014), health care coverage helps to protect patients from financial risks, and lack of it becomes a big burden for many populations. In addition, paying for health care through out-of-pocket payments prevents many people around the world from accessing care.
Although lack of health care insurance is a financial problem for patients, it is always associated with both non-financial and financial health-related impacts to public health. For instance, limited access to quality health care as a result of lack of health care coverage, results into negative health outcomes for the population. This is a good example of a non-financial impact associated with lack of health insurance (Luga & McGuire, 2014).
With regard to financial-related impact, an increase in disease burden among populations is of great financial impact to the public health sector, which must allocate additional funds to clear disease from the society (Saksena, Hsu and Evans, 2014).
The other financial problem that is related to patient care is high costs of prescription drugs. Many patients and their families really have to struggle in order to meet health care costs, especially medication costs. According to Walkom, Loxton, and Robertson, (2013) in a study conducted with the aim of assessing the impact of high medication costs on patients’ ability to adhere to prescription drugs, it has been discovered that 27 percent of participants from Australia and 36 percent of subjects from the United States tend to skip their drug doses because they are unable to purchase drugs which are charged at extremely high prices.
In addition, the need to purchase prescription drugs through out-of-pocket payments is one of the contributing factors to poor health among populations in today’s society (Luga & McGuire, 2014).
Lack of insurance as well as high costs of prescription drugs have an impact on federal and national budgets. This is because the government has to integrate health care costs into its budget to help low income earners to access care and to achieve improved health outcomes (Saksena, Hsu and Evans, 2014). According to Saksena, Hsu and Evans (2014), the number of uninsured citizens is on the rise in the United States because many people are reluctant to join available Medicare and Medicaid programs following increased uncertainties that continue to surround their use.
If the current trend persists, the federal government will be compelled to integrate patients’ health care costs into its budget in order to increase the percentage of United States citizens who receive quality care. As Kelley et al., (2015) explain, there is great need for the federal government to increase budget that it allocates for helping the society to manage chronic illnesses, considering the fact that chronic health conditions become more severe among the uninsured patients than among patients with health care coverage.
Similarly, high costs of prescription drugs have an impact on federal and national budget because the government has to increase its spending on these drugs to promote positive health among its population, especially the low income earners (Luga & McGuire, 2014).
Nurses play a very crucial role in solving patient care financial problems because they are charged with the responsibility of analyzing public health information that is needed for budget development. The federal government depends on information collected by nurses regarding health care costs to make a decision on the most appropriate funds that should be allocated for patient care (Salmond and Echevarria, 2017).
In order to ensure that the right information is used for budget development, nurses must be sure to collect accurate and specific information as this will help the government to distinguish between funds that are allocated for health care coverage from those that are designated for prescription drugs. The staff nurse plays the role of collecting data directly from the community and presents it to the nurse manager.
The nurse manager analyzes the presented information and evaluates its relevance before passing it to the chief nurse. The chief nurse analyzes the information and forwards it to the agencies responsible for budget development, stating the reasons why it should be included in the budget (Salmond and Echevarria, 2017).
Kelley, A. S., McGarry, K., Georges, R. & Skinner, J. S. (2015). The burden of health care costs for patients with dementia in the last 5 years of life. Annals of International Medicine, 163(10): 729-736. doi: 10.7326/M15-0381.
Luga, A. O. & McGuire, M. J. (2014). Adherence and health care costs. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 7: 35-44. doi: 10.2147/RMHP.S19801
Salmond, S. W. & Echevarria, M. (2017). Healthcare transformation and changing roles for nursing. Orthopedic Nursing, 36(1): 12-25. doi: 10.1097/NOR.0000000000000308
Saksena, P., Hsu, J. & Evans, D. B. (2014). Financial risk protection and universal health coverage: Evidence and measurement challenges. PLoS Med, 11(9): e1001701. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001701
Walkom, E., J., Loxton, D. & Robertson, J. (2013). Costs of medicine and health care: A concern for Australian women across the ages. BMC Health Services Research, 13: 484. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-13-484
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