Class1Assessment2-3

profilejorged021491
HealthcareFinal.docx

Running Head: ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE 1

ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE 8

Access to Healthcare

Capella University

November, 2018

Access to healthcare

This paper will address the limited access to the healthcare services in the United States of America, which is a bigger challenge that cut across the nation from cities to the rural areas. Several factors have been outlined as key contributors to limited access to healthcare including: (a) limited insurance coverage, (b) transportation barrier and (c) lack of professionals in the rural areas. They will be further explained in detail in this paper. Having limited access to healthcare is a challenge situation but whenever a problem is experienced, the endeavour has to be made to develop and find a solution to the problem. Therefore, in this discussion telemedicine and in-home health care services have been employed as some of the interventions to address the already defined health problem. The information used in the research has to be relevant and valid and this is confirmed by the annotated bibliography which explains in brief about the credibility of the information used in this research.

Healthcare Access Limitation

Limited access to healthcare is significantly contributing to the spread of certain diseases especially in the patients suffering from chronic conditions. There are multiple factors that limit the access to healthcare in the United States of America. A limited number of people who are insured is one of the factors contributing to limited access to healthcare. Comparing with other developed countries, the United States of America is one of the nations that does not have universal healthcare insurance for its citizens. The government does understand this problem and in an attempt to find a solution, created and implemented the Affordable Care Act to provide medical insurance coverage for its population, but by the year 2016, about 32 million people were not covered thus denying them the privilege to access the health care services (Kominski et al…,2017).

A good number of people are not in a position to meet the medical cost thus locking them from accessing health care services in this country. Even some of those who have medical insurance coverage and high income, sometimes experience difficulties in meeting medical bills thus cannot access medical services because health plans do not even adequately meet all the medical costs. About forty percent of the people in the United States of America require high cost treatments and regular medical checkups that majority can not afford (Woolf, & Aron, 2013).

Lack of health care facilities and health professionals in rural areas of the country are also some of the factors that result in limited access to health care. In particular, between 2004 and 2014, one hundred and seventy-nine obstetric centers were closed in rural areas in United States. The closure of these centers has limited essential gynecologist and obstetrician services that are very crucial for the health of the population. Similarly, there are a limited number of mental health professionals and substance abuse counsellors in rural areas whose services are core and greatly needed by these citizens. The capacity of health professionals offering these essential services to the population in the rural setting has been limited and in other cases not accessible at all. This leads to limited access to quality health care, and in the best scenario patients might have to wait for long hours to see their medical specialists. (Douthit, Kiv, Dwolatzky, & Biswas, 2015).

Lack of means of transportation is also another factor limiting the access to health services. Healthcare facilities are located far from some rural regions hence patients need to travel to receive medical assistance. Lack of mobility means is a crucial factor to access healthcare, affecting patients who cannot afford these means, mainly those who have special needs such as psychically challenged patients. In urban areas, those people who are low-income earners find it difficult to get a reliable mean of transportation at the time they are going for their medical appointments. This phenomenon results in some patients missing their appointments and also results in the poor management of the diseases, sometimes even when the medical care is available, it is out of their reach due to the lack of transportation. Research has established that distance can be a barrier for people in rural areas but also for poor people living in suburban and urban areas despite the fact they may be close to the hospital centers or health professionals all caused by transportation problem. People in the urban areas in United States of America drive their own cars thus public transport may not be common in some cities. Poor people living in the cities have a challenge to find to find means to reach the medical centers thus having a problem of limited access to health care services (IMRAN, 2015).

Potential intervention approaches.

Telemedicine is one of the interventions that can help reduce the problem of limited access to healthcare. Telemedicine is a new technology that patients use to receive healthcare services without physically reaching the health care center. This alternative will help to address the issues of the affordability of the health care services and also distance which acts as a limiting factor to access health care services. Telemedicine is an affordable service to patients who would have spent much to reach the healthcare. It has been used for several years in the prisons where inmates are not allowed to leave the premises of the prison and in turn, they have limited access to health care. This is potentially beneficial for patients with special needs who have difficulties moving around, among others. It is an alternative because people who have limited access to health care can utilize and acknowledge technology to receive health care in the comfort of their homes (Hudson, 2013).

The use of electronic devices and communication gadgets has been on rising and facilitating health information sharing. Use of online services to share health information is one of the interventions that can help curb the problem of the limited access to health services. Health information from the patients, health professionals and the public in general are shared on the online platforms thus solving the problem of limited access to healthcare (Moorhead et al…,2013).

Lastly, in-home health care services are a potential intervention method that can play a significant role in addressing the problem of limited access to healthcare. This is how health care services are offered in private homes by either home care attendants or medical practitioners. Through the use of this method, aged people and patients who are disabled and cannot travel to the medical centers are treated, hence addressing the problem of the limited access to the health care services (Mankowska et al…., 2014).

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are various factors that limit the access to healthcare in the United States of America. First, transportation in urban areas for low-income earners is one of the factors contributing to limited access to healthcare services. Secondly, some of the patients can not afford medical expenses thus barring them from accessing healthcare services. Third, a good number of people, although insured, have not enough coverage for their medical expenses. Finally, in rural areas, patients lack some essential medical services such as obstetrician and mental health services. However, with the above factors that limit the access to healthcare services analyzed, there are some solutions coming up, such as telemedicine, which is a technology used by patients without physically reaching the health care center, it has been identified as one of the ways that can be used to address the problem of limited access to healthcare services. Also, in-home health care services which addresses patients’ health problems in the comfort of their own homes and electronic devices which promote the use of the online platform to share healthcare information are also other potential interventions that have been identified as suitable to offer a solution to the limited access of healthcare services.

Annotated bibliography

Douthit, N., Kiv, S., Dwolatzky, T., & Biswas, S. (2015). Exposing some important barriers to health care access in the rural USA. Public health, 129(6), 611-620.

This article explores some potential factors that limit access of healthcare to the residents leaving in rural areas in the US. Some of the factors cited in this article are a limited number of health professionals and the closure of obstetrician health facilities. These are crucial factors that cannot be ignored in this study thus causing this article to be very relevant

Dwyer, D. S., & Liu, H. (2013). The impact of consumer health information on the demand for health services. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 53(1), 1-11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1062976912000786

The author has elaborated the challenges faced by patients in seeking healthcare services which are relevant to the topic of the discussion. The author emphasizes the disadvantages brought by a transportation barrier to the access of healthcare services.

Hudson, H. E. (2013). From rural village to global village: Telecommunications for development in the information age. Routledge https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781135599713:

The author is a experienced writer and has authored several books that have been quoted in the research several times because of the validity and reliability from his work. He has extensively covered the subject of telemedicine which is an essential approach in limiting the access to healthcare. Routledge is a prominent publisher thus reflecting the quality of this article.

IMRAN, C. (2015). The Transportation Barrier. Available online: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/08/the-transportation-barrier/399728/

This article addresses one factor that limits access to healthcare services in the US. The authors are very explicit and clearly shows how transportation acts have barrier where he shows how unreliable transport system in the urban centres, especially to those with low -income earners, thus causing it to be a useful resource in this study.

Kominski, G. F., Nonzee, N. J., & Sorensen, A. (2017). The Affordable Care Act's Impacts on Access to Insurance and Health Care for Low-Income Populations. Annual review of public health, 38, 489-505.

This article emphasizes the factors that limit access to healthcare services to the low-income population. It empathizes more on some of the people lacking the insurance coverage to meet the medical expenses a factor that limits access to healthcare thus rendering it worth consideration in this study.

Moorhead, S. A., Hazlett, D. E., Harrison, L., Carroll, J. K., Irwin, A., & Hoving, C. (2013). A new dimension of health care: a systematic review of the uses, benefits, and limitations of social media for health communication. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(4). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3636326/:

The author has written a very useful material by offering a better understanding of healthcare information system where social platforms are one of them. The Article discusses the benefits of health information online that remark the health issues and improve health outcomes. Consumer health information has raised concern as many patients are going online to seek remedies.

References

Douthit, N., Kiv, S., Dwolatzky, T., & Biswas, S. (2015). Exposing some important barriers to health care access in the rural USA. Public health, 129(6), 611-620.

Dwyer, D. S., & Liu, H. (2013). The impact of consumer health information on the demand for health services. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 53(1), 1-11. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1062976912000786

Hudson, H. E. (2013). From rural village to global village: Telecommunications for development in the information age. Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781135599713

IMRAN, C. (2015). The Transportation Barrier. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/08/the-transportation-barrier/399728/

Kominski, G. F., Nonzee, N. J., & Sorensen, A. (2017). The Affordable Care Act's Impacts on Access to Insurance and Health Care for Low-Income Populations. Annual review of public health, 38, 489-505.

Mankowska, D. S., Meisel, F., & Bierwirth, C. (2014). The home health care routing and scheduling problem with interdependent services. Health care management science, 17(1), 15-30. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10729-013-9243-1

Moorhead, S. A., Hazlett, D. E., Harrison, L., Carroll, J. K., Irwin, A., & Hoving, C. (2013). A new dimension of health care: a systematic review of the uses, benefits, and limitations of social media for health communication. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(4). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3636326/

Woolf, S. H., & Aron, L. Y. (2013). The US health disadvantage relative to other high-income countries: findings from a National Research Council/Institute of Medicine report. Jama, 309(8), 771-772.