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Budgeting Analysis for the Healthcare Industry in America

Abstract

It is an undeniable truth that the condition of the American economy has already recovered from the condition of being in the middle of crisis during the span of 2003 towards 2007 economic downfall that was evident in almost every industry and every country around the globe. Comparing to the performance of the economy then and now, the year 2012 towards the present condition of the American economic situation proves that the nation has already passed the phase of financial downturn. In the field of healthcare development and financing procedures, the government under Obama’s administration has tried its best to define what is needed by the society and specifically respond to such needs through establishing helpful programs that improve healthcare servicing in the country. In the discussion presented herein, one particular act towards improving healthcare service shall be given particular attention to for analysis.

One of the programs that Obama’s administration has introduced to the country is that of the Affordable Care Act. This act intends to change how medicine is conceptualized, practiced, and paid for in the country. ACA, although having too many provisions for examination here, will affect my organization in the following ways:

  • The increase of insured individuals is sure to be a great adjustment. With the lower rates and specific availability of budget assistance that the administration is willing to provide the society with through the principles of ACA, it is expected that more individuals would open up to the possibility of enrolling themselves in a healthcare policy that would fit their earnings and their needs.
  • There will be a greater emphasis on payment for services based on quality rather than simply fee-for-service. Healthcare insurance policies in the past used to be based on doctor attendance, for a change and for the sake of protecting the community, this policy is based on results and the quality of service rendered by the healthcare attendants to the patient being given assistance. In this case, ACOs or accountable care organizations, are to be held “responsible” for a cohort of patients. In this context, responsibility is synonymous for costs- thus, if a patient is offered services but does not necessarily become better, the providers, rather than the patients, will be responsible for paying for that care.  While ACOs are a macro change in the health care delivery and payment environment, Medicare is also focusing on incentivizing providers through penalizing those that do not focus on quality.

This principle of the act specifically makes it easier for the administration to establish better control of the budget they have set for supporting healthcare conditions in the country. With the quality of the service provided by the healthcare institutions, it is expected that the rate of (re)hospitalization cases would decrease.

In the future, there are chances of weaker economy on the part of America’s development that should be considered. In this case, the slower economy will have a negative effect on the funding streams for many health care institutions.  For example, a stretched federal and state budget will mean that hospitals, homecare services and even academic institutions such as academic medical centers and schools of nursing will face cuts. These financial cuts will not only mean that operations will need to be efficient, nurses will also need to be more productive and specifically able to convey the proper service that the patients specifically need from them while applying the quality expected from them by the healthcare industry.

In order to survive these cuts, organizations will need to work on the integration of existing care capabilities, as well as the productivity involved in care.  Teams will need to work more efficiently in order to provide that care and make sure that the care is compliant with the requirements of ACA (Stichler, 2008).  Nurses must make sure that they are accurately coordinating care with other members of the team to ensure optimal clinical and financial results (Kovner and Lusk, 2010).

The economy, legislation, and increasing Medicare population will all have palpable impacts on the budgetary discussion process that will need to be understood by nurses.  To make sure that they are able to provide what the patients need and define their work according to the expectations placed upon their shoulders, the administrators of healthcare facilities must be able to impose a sense of development on organizational operations. Such advancements could involve how communication and correlation between their workers are established hence making it easier for the operations to be properly directed for the sake of the patients’ recovery.   It is then imposed through this analysis of events and current situations that nurses will have to be part of the discussion process for these financial issues, particularly in communicating the need for the best treatment with finance department employees that might be considered about the cost implications.  These discussions should not only necessarily focus on cost alone but also on how the balance between cost and quality of service will lead to the long-term financial viability of the hospital.  Nurses should also seek to include other members of the care team in these discussions to ensure that all viewpoints are represented.

The cooperative and correlative work of all the members of the healthcare industry to make sure that the patients are served well will not only result to better service to the people. It will also cause several thousand[s] if not millions of dollars to be saved in relation to how healthcare operations are handled in the country. The less individuals are getting sick over again would save the administration and the people so much that they would be able to channel their budget and financial assets to other matters that could improve the quality of living of the people living in the American society. As mentioned though, this quality of social health status could only be garnered through the collaborative work between the healthcare practitioners and the members of the society themselves as they embrace the assumption and indication of proper and efficient healthcare service.

References:

American Nurses Association. (2013). Health Care Reform.  http://www.nursingworld.org/healthcarereform. Retrieved on June 9, 2013.

Stichler, J. (2008). The bottom line: financial management skills for nurse leaders. Nursing For   Women’s Health, 12(2), 157-162.

Kovner, C., & Lusk, E. (2010). The sustainability budgeting model: multiple-mode flexible budgeting using sustainability as the synthesizing criterion. Nursing Economics, 28(6), 377-385.

Healthy people 2020. Washington (DC): US Department of Health and Human Services; 2010.

http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/default.aspx. Retrieved on June 9, 2013.