Why do we need to control healthcare costs
Person 1: to enhance use of health information technology, reduce inefficiency and medical errors. Moreover, reduction of health costs in one sector increases competition in the quality of services offered ending in better health outcomes. Reports from Institute of Medicine (IOM) indicate that more than 98000 Americans die each year due to medical errors (American College of physicians, 2009). The report indicates that some medical errors are preventable among other inefficiencies. Health information technology enhances coordination from providers and decision support, which improves its treatments and tests. Adoption of HIT and EHRs reduces variations of clinicians in their use of health services, reduces trends of costs and baseline costs.
Person 2: to promote patient involvement in decision-making
The process of reducing health care costs promotes patient understanding of risks and benefits of certain treatment options at their disposal. Proper decision-making helps patients understand costly health insurance plans and opt for the true costs of their medical care. Patients registered in Medicare, Medicaid and other health insurance systems may have high expenses at the long run due to expensive and unnecessary diagnostic testing. Patients paying health care costs from their pockets avoid shifting of medical care to employees and beneficiaries and end up having enough to pay for other needs. Moreover, patients having higher deductibles among other payments will not be in a position to support very sick patients with high costs (Centers for disease control and prevention, 2013).
Person 3: To encourage cost-consciousness
Health care costs require control to encourage proper search of understandable and accurate information for patients to make well-informed decisions. Patients require being aware of the accurate cost of medical care and treatment options (National association of chronic disease directors, 2016). Moreover, patients should chose options that offer information about proper nutrition, diet, and preventive services. In addition, they should opt for services with qualified staff, well-equipped hospitals, and good performance of nurses. These factors will help in decision making among patients and reduction of costs. Controlling costs promotes price transparency among goods and services offered by physicians and health care providers.
Person 4: To align treatment decisions with values and preferences of patients.
Involvement of doctor and patient in negotiations about proper treatment ensures prevention of unnecessary treatments, procedures that lead to high medical costs. Tools such as pamphlets and DVDs are offered to patients to personally understand the benefits and harm of considering certain treatments. Moreover, patients have real expectations since they have enough knowledge (AFL-CIO. America’s Union, 2016). The knowledge gained avoids invasive surgery, which is overly expensive to other alternatives. Sharing in making decisions between doctor and patients avoids malpractice among patients such as overcharging services. Shared decision-making improves quality and reduces costs of services offered by Medicaid and Medicare services.
Person 5: To encourage advance planning and informed decision-making for End-of-life care
It is important to control costs of health care to patients who are in their deathbeds. It reduces over expense at the time and over burdening other family members and dependants. Advance planning is guided by the doctor and the patient earlier enough before the patient loses his decision making power (Pope, 2013). Patients may be guided to write a will on the treatments they would prefer during six months of their life. Written wills and surrogates guide doctors on how to treat them to stabilize their health status. Moreover, wills reduce unwanted treatments and reduce financial burdens on their caregivers.
AFL-CIO. America’s Union. (2016). Controlling health care costs. Retrieved from http://www.aflcio.org/Issues/Health-Care/Controlling-Health-Care-Costs
American College of physicians. (2009). Controlling health care costs while promoting the best possible health outcomes. American College of physicians, 1-57.
Centers for disease control and prevention. (2013). Control health care costs. Workplace health promotion. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/businesscase/benefits/costs.html
National association of chronic disease directors. (2016).why we need public health to improve health care. Retrieved from http://www.chronicdisease.org/?page=WhyWeNeedPH2impHC
Pope, C. (2013).legislating low prices: Cutting costs or care? Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/08/legislating-low-prices-cutting-costs-or- care