Assignment: Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue

The costs of healthcare in the United States are increasing at a high rate. Such increased costs have an impact on the kind and quality of care that patients receive, and the accessibility to such care. Costs are one problem that the Quadruple Aim looks at dealing with the process of healthcare reform. However, the overall cost of care is attributed to the rising inflation of medical costs and overhead costs that healthcare facilities incur during the treatment of patients. A research carried out by Kalman et al. (2015) shows that the overhead costs per inpatient bed grew by 3.02% per year while the cost per inpatient day grew almost by 2%. The overhead costs in healthcare facilities account for nearly half the total cost of care given. The research compares data between the costs in 1996 and 2010, proving how healthcare costs have increased at a rate higher than medical inflation.

In the current organization that I have been working with, overhead costs are a major health issue that affects not only the hospital facility but also its staff and the patients that are treated within the facility. Overhead costs affect the finances that the organization has to take care of other administrative costs. It also affects the amounts that patients are charged with for treatment received within the organization or its affiliated clinics. The overhead costs at the organization result from supplies and capital expenses, billing and documentation processes within the organization, administration and staffing costs. Such costs have had a huge toll on the working staff as the organization has tried to find ways to reduce such costs.
The organization has had to let go of some of its staff members, to reduce the costs associated with salaries or insurance cover packages offered to employees. It has increased the workload in the remaining staff within the organization leading to a further burnout and lower employee retention. The overhead costs, including the recruitment and training of new staff to fill in gaps for those that quit due to burnout, have to be paid by the patient. Such costs lead to an inflation of patient’s costs while at the organization, to amounts that were never thought of 20 years ago. The average cost on a hospital stay and bed for a day at the organization is $9, 560, which helps cover the treatment and overheads associated with running the organization.
Literature Review
Himmelstein et al., 2014 compared the rising costs of healthcare in the United States to that of other countries such as Canada, Netherlands, Germany and France.  In the study, the researchers realized that the costs in the United States healthcare system were as a result of ever-increasing overhead costs such as administration costs of hospitals, which accounted for 25.3% of the total hospital expenditure in the USA.  The researchers also state that reducing hospital administration costs spending would have reduced the cost of healthcare in 2011 by $150 billion. The costs in the hospital facilities in the US are also associated with the increased use of high tech technology, Increase in specialty care, increased physician fees and higher prices of drugs.
The study carried out by Evans et al. in 2018 shows how hospitals in Canada are reducing the overall costs in relation to patients that are admitted in the ICU wards. The researchers suggest the shortening of the length of stay in intensive care units (ICUs) as a strategy to reduce overall costs on the patient and on the healthcare facility, citing the Ottawa Hospital as their focus of study. The study showed an approach that the American Healthcare industry should use to reduce the ever-increasing healthcare costs. The study shows that reducing ICU stays could reduce inpatient healthcare cost by 0.3%. The researchers, however, state that the strategy alone could not work on reducing the overall costs associated with healthcare and should be used alongside other costs.
Other organizations use various ways to reduce the costs associated with healthcare in their facilities. The first strategy is the adopting of technology to increase efficiency in the delivery of care. Such technologies reduce errors in healthcare and therefore prevent readmissions and legal and administrative costs associated with the same—redundant testing in the US healthcare system costs of 5 billion dollars a year. Organizations, therefore, adopt strategies that reduce duplication of services and tests, especially in the laboratory and therefore reduce associated costs.
Strategies used to Address Costs in Healthcare.
As seen in the studies discussed above, healthcare organizations employ strategies to address overhead costs that affect the overall cost of healthcare in the country. In the first article, the researchers suggest that hospitals should adopt a single-payer system as a way of reducing administrative costs. Multiple payer systems have more costs associated with different agencies that deal with compensation in healthcare industries. Organizations also digitize the processes of healthcare, therefore, reducing instances of minor mistakes when delivering healthcare, which could be costly to the healthcare organization. In the second article, ICU costs affect the overall cost of treatment and cost of administration in healthcare facilities (Evans et al., 2018). The outcome of increased healthcare costs on organizations is a lower quality of care and less efficient processes to try to minimize the costs. Organizations, therefore, streamline the workflow of physicians and other healthcare professionals to reduce the chances of burnout and turnover. Digital engagement solutions such as healthcare analytic solutions could help improve the flow of data from the patient to healthcare providers, therefore reducing instances of miscommunication that increases costs.
The above strategies will impact my organization in different ways. Adopting a single-pay system will reduce the number of agencies that my organization will have to deal with when it comes to healthcare reimbursement. It will reduce the overall cost of carrying out the reimbursement. A single pay system also allows continuity of care and also reduces the cost per capita (Petrou, Samoutis & Lionis, 2018). The strategy, however, has its downfall s in that it leads to tax hikes. A single-payer system means that most healthcare costs come from an agency that is supported by the government. The way that the government supports healthcare expenditure is through taxation. There would be more taxes on businesses, therefore, affecting the organization. There is less competition and innovation when using a single-payer system which is bad for the organization as science and technology are the heart to efficiency in medicine. Cutting ICU costs, on the other hand, would reduce the overhead costs the organization has to cater to, such as running ICU machinery and stationing an employee to always look after the patient. The strategies, however, might reduce the quality of care a patient receives as the organization’s aim will be to reduce the number of days the patient stays in the ICU.

Looking to get Essay writing help for this assignment? Get custom essay for 15% OFF using coupon code “NEW15” or Buy Used Solution for same paper for less!