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Trends in Healthcare

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HMA1: Trends in Healthcare
Western Governors University
Healthcare Management Case Study
HMA1
Linda Gunn
August 21, 2010

HMA1: Trends in Healthcare
The American healthcare system is in the midst of change. No other time in history has the call for healthcare reform been so strong. It is the emergence of expensive new technologies with an aging population and a new call for equitable quality access of health services for all citizens that have pushed for the impending change. Successful managers will need to understand the impetus for this change. The challenges will provide many opportunities for a manager that is properly prepared to lead and guide their organization.
Model trends in the United States.
Historically, the United State’s healthcare system has been provider dominated. Physicians ordered and directed care without concern for cost or resources. While complex and ever-changing, the focus was on treatment of infectious diseases such as polio, influenza, small pox. (Shortell & Kaluzny, 2006) Our current model of healthcare places much of the responsibility and burden of the cost of medical care on the individual. American healthcare spending approaches 17% of our gross domestic product (GDP), the highest of any member of the World Health Organization. Our performance consistently underperforms in comparison to our peer nations in such measures as life expectancy, infant mortality and overall level of health. (World Health Organization [WHO], 2000)
Though this has been the historical model in the United States, the model is under scrutiny and is undergoing reassessment and the season is ripe for reform due to changing expectations and demands from multiple sides. The aging population, often with multiple chronic conditions, demands improvement in quality care as patients shift from “patients” to “consumers”. Advancing technology has...

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