Complete ALL of the bullet points below:
• Given the increasing longevity of Americans and the costs of providing long-term care, anticipation of the costs should be a major element of every family’s financial planning. Current information suggests however, that very few families or individuals give this consideration. What factors might impede this advance planning? What measures might be effective in raising awareness among Americans about this important matter?
• Identify the major factors that have resulted in the shift in utilization from inpatient hospitalization to ambulatory care services. What are the implications of this shift for hospitals, consumers, and the health care delivery system as a whole?
• The recipients of mental health services in the US represent only a small percentage of those in need of services. Discuss the factors that impede access to mental illness treatment.
• Include a screenshot of your note taking from your reading this week.
Please submit one APA formatted paper between 1000 – 1500 words, not including the title and reference page. The assignment should have a minimum of two (2) scholarly sources, in addition to the textbook.
M3 Assignment UMBO – 2
M3 Assignment PLG – 4, 8
M3 Assignment CLO – 5, 7
Expert Answer and Explanation
There have been recent shifts in the delivery of care, especially with the increased medical coverage for the elderly, the disabled, and low-income earning families. With the increased access to healthcare facilities, how healthcare services are being delivered to patients varies with more specialized facilities be put up. This paper will evaluate various issues in the delivery of healthcare including; planning in the provision of long-term care, implication of increased usage of ambulatory care services, and factors that impede access to mental health treatment.
Planning in provision of long-term care
Going by the current trends, it is recorded that Americans are living longer, with the number of people over 65 years of age rising over time. This is an indicator that there is a substantial increase in the number of people who are supposed to be covered by Medicare. That being the case, there is still an apparent laxity by individuals and families alike to plan for future medical or long-term care needs, which can pose to be problematic in the future. There are various factors that may contribute to the apparent laxity, some of which are listed as follows.
One of the factors is the lack of education on the importance of advance planning and how it can reduce the burden of accessing care when such a time comes. Most individuals don’t realize that in the future, they may need various services, including long-term care and as a result, fail to plan in advance. The lack of awareness and education on future care needs is one of the factors which impede advance planning (Capps et al., 2018)
Another factor is inadequate financial capacity which incapacitates a sizable chunk of the population to consider advance planning. Advance planning is usually associated with having adequate funds to carry out the plan. Research has shown that most low-income households rarely plan in advance since they consider themselves incapable of meeting the financial requirements of such plans (Capps et al., 2018).
Negative attitude towards services such as utilization of long-term care facilities also acts as an impediment to advance planning. Most individuals hardly consider that they will reach a point in life where they need such services. The illusion of time may also be a reason for apparent laxity for advanced planning. With such an attitude, it is highly likely that individuals or even families may not give advance planning any consideration, or may procrastinate the whole planning process until it’s a little too late.
Some of the measures which can be taken to change this trend include; putting in place educative or promotional messages/initiatives which raise the awareness of Americans on the importance of advance planning for future care needs (Rowe, Fulmer & Fried, 2016). Such initiatives will also help in eliminating the lax or negative attitudes on the initiative which advance planning is supposed to cater for. Providing different packages for different target groups, specifically by financing institutions/facilities will help increase the number of people engaging in advance planning.
Factors contributing to an increase in ambulatory care services
It is noted that more and more patients prefer to use ambulatory care services rather than inpatient services. This change in trend has been brought about by various factors. Some of these factors are concerned with patient choices, while some are directly related to either the medical facilities or the healthcare providers offering care to patients.
One of the major factors which have led to this is the increase in private entrepreneurial healthcare services which are structured to deliver ambulatory care to patients. Such initiatives have decentralized the healthcare system from the traditional inpatient services to ambulatory care.
Advancement in technology has also been a contributing factor that has led to an increase in ambulatory care (Sultz & Young, 2017). Initially, most of the medical technology used was bulky and stationary. Currently, such technology has been reduced in size and made to be easily portable. Likewise, technology has made it very easy to track patients and any changes in their health status. This has made it easier for healthcare providers to monitor them regardless of the patient’s location.
The cost implication of inpatient services versus ambulatory care is another factor that has led to the change in trend. At times, ambulatory care may prove to be cheaper than inpatient care, which has prompted more patients to shift to ambulatory care.
The implication for this changing trend has been a reduction in the number of admissions, especially possible long-term admission cases in hospitals since preferring to go for ambulatory care. As a result, hospitals have also restructured their operations to expand their ambulatory care services. There has also been an increase in private facilities giving specialized ambulatory care hence increasing the level of competition in the healthcare industry. The quality of ambulatory care offered has also been on the rise as a result of the competition
Factors that impede access to mental illness treatment
Mental health services are one of the healthcare services which have the least number of patients who report being in need of those services. There are several factors that contribute to low patient numbers seeking mental healthcare services. According to Tristiana et al. (2018), one of the impeding factors is the perceived lack of need by patients suffering from mental illness. Likewise, some consider the severity of the condition as not being a major problem hence eliminating any consideration for medical treatment.
The attitude of either the patient or those who care for them (in the case of chronic mental illness) may also be an impediment to seeking treatment. In most cases, especially for patients suffering from chronic mental illness, the situation is considered as hopeless, and medical treatment is usually not considered as an option. As such, they prefer to suffer in isolation by managing the condition privately (Tristiana et al., 2018).
Another factor is the apparent high cost of treatment for mentally ill patients. The amount charged for consultation, treatment, medication, and care for mentally ill persons can, at times be quite expensive, which can prove to be a barrier to accessing mental health treatment. This has to some point been catered for by provision of Medicare to those facing chronic mental illness.
The issue of long-term care for elderly patients, and an increase in ambulatory care services are some of the current points of discussion in delivery of health care services. The two have changed the organization and delivery of healthcare services to patients especially in the quest of delivering a seamless health continuum. Likewise, mental healthcare is as important as any other healthcare segment. It is important to have a change in mindset on how mental health is viewed to have an all round improvement in the health continuum.
Capps, C., Gillen, L., Hayley, D., & Mason, R. (2018). Better advance care planning in long-term care through starting the conversation. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 19(3), B15.
Rowe, J. W., Fulmer, T., & Fried, L. (2016). Preparing for better health and health care for an aging population. Jama, 316(16), 1643-1644.
Sultz, H. A., & Young, K. A. (2017). Health care USA: Understanding its organization and delivery (9th ed.). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.
Tristiana, R. D., Yusuf, A., Fitryasari, R., Wahyuni, S. D., & Nihayati, H. E. (2018). Perceived barriers on mental health services by the family of patients with mental illness. International journal of nursing sciences, 5(1), 63-67.