Healthcare financing is complex in many ways and requires expert knowledge and resources in order to effectively manage the healthcare needs of all persons and to address gaps in funding that may exist. It is important for healthcare providers to identify issues that pose the greatest risk to healthcare financing and how to best manage emerging needs and trends within this system. Knowledge and input from experts within the healthcare industry are necessary in order to establish new strategies and areas of focus that will impact users and those who fund the system across different areas. The costs associated with healthcare continue to increase and require organizations to their strategies and to identify cost effective methods to improve patient care quality. It is the responsibility of healthcare providers to optimize patient care and treatment but to also address their health-related needs as best as possible.
Healthcare finance continues to evolve in the wake of the Affordable Care Act and provides a basis for exploring new options that enable providers to administer care that must meet specific standards of quality. However, many patients pay higher out-of-pocket premiums than in the past and are required to pay higher deductibles for the care that they receive, thereby placing a strain on their overall finances over time (Hall & Lord, 2014). In this context, healthcare providers must demonstrate their willingness to work with patients and to cooperate regarding the costs of healthcare so that patients do not suffer from lack of services under specific insurance plans or the affordability of these services (Hall & Lord, 2014). Organizations must focus on cost-cutting measures that do not compromise quality of care and the availability of services that are in high demand so that they are able to overcome any obstacles that may impact their health and wellbeing in different ways (Hall & Lord, 2014).
One area of healthcare finance to consider is access to health insurance for younger adults, since those under the age of 26 are permitted to remain on their parents’ insurance plans if no other options are available (Sommers, Buchmueller, Decker, Carey, Kronick, 2013). From this perspective, healthcare providers may be able to overcome gaps not only in coverage for young adults, but also address potential health concerns and risks earlier on in the life span so that they do not create even greater problems in the future (Sommers et.al, 2013). This practice supports the need for young adults to understand their levels of coverage and to take advantage of alternatives such as routine physicals, preventive screenings, and other tools that may improve health and wellbeing over the long term (Sommers et.al, 2013). The increase in access to coverage is only one component of the current structure that is conducive to improved health and greater attention to the needs of the younger population with the intent to prevent complications that may increase the cost of care for patients in the future (Sommers et.al, 2013).
Healthcare finance continues to evolve in response to the Affordable Care Act and supports the need for greater insight into the needs of patients across many different population groups, including young adults. The significance of the ACA cannot be undermined and has sent the American health insurance system into a new direction; however, the industry still has a long way to go in order to optimize health insurance coverage for millions of Americans so that it is even more affordable and the services provided are appropriate and timely on a regular basis. This process requires healthcare finance experts and insurance providers to identify areas of need and to accommodate patients across different groups so that access to services and insurance plans are user-friendly and will support a more affordable approach to healthcare practice throughout the United States.
- Hall, M. A., & Lord, R. (2014). Obamacare: what the Affordable Care Act means for patients
and physicians. Bmj, 349(7), g5376-g5376.
- Sommers, B. D., Buchmueller, T., Decker, S. L., Carey, C., & Kronick, R. (2013). The
Affordable Care Act has led to significant gains in health insurance and access to care for
young adults. Health affairs, 32(1), 165-174.