Healthcare has been one of the dominant topic in the American politics for the past eight years. Some people relate to the Affordable Care Act, as a means of a government takeover of the healthcare system. I start to question myself of the future of healthcare in the United States of America? It is only six years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law and as time has shown, it has enabled more than twenty million Americans to get an insurance policy for their health. It has been a case of more and more reforms as people try to focus on ensuring that the healthcare sector is living up to its expectations and the people’s needs (Altman, Stuart, Reinhardt & Alexandra, pp.4-34).
One of the perspectives that need to be brought forward is the role of technology and its purpose in making healthcare more affordable and available to the individuals who require the services. There has been advancements that have been made in counseling and therapy sessions in which the professionals are providing their services to clients by the use of teleconferences. While debates continue on the efficiency of such methods in contributing to the clients’ wellbeing, there is a consensus that technology will continue to play more and more integral roles moving forward.
Technology will simplify the role of physicians and reduce the geographical barriers that have been limiting access to healthcare. Of course, scholars have warned that technology needs to ensure that it upholds the sanctity of life before it can be used in health care. The inclination being made is that there should be elimination of error on the side of the technology in order to ensure that there are no chances that are taken with human life. As a matter of fact, scholars have remarked that ‘constant technological innovation, increasing remote patient monitoring and rising use of treatments that require long follow-ups’ would be a good starting place for the telehealth. The point being that some of the challenges that need to be addressed must let technology try and create an environment in which innovation can help in the sector.
The other issue that has refused to go away, especially with the new administration is the issue of insurance policies. It has been noted that insurance companies have been improving in terms of lower premiums but provide quality healthcare to the clients. The challenge that America faces is ‘tens of millions of uninsured, hundreds of thousands of lives lost due to avoidable errors, and health costs that outpaced the rest of our economy’ (Koch, pg.569). The implication being that the future of healthcare lies in its ability to address the problems that have been highlighted.
Government must come up with a plan that addresses the problems that have not been tackled by the Affordable Care Act. For instance, there has been the debate in which physicians spend a lot of their time in tasks that are vital in health but are not compensated. There must be a way to motivate physicians. Doctors need to be appreciated for the work they undertake. The compensation should however not mean that the patients will shoulder most of the costs (Kocher, Robert, Ezekiel, Emanuel & Nancy-Ann, pg.538). The government needs to subsidize costs to ensure that the twenty million new clients who acquired insurance policies do not lose them.
There is a general understanding in the healthcare that there is a need to promote wellness rather than prevention among the patients. The healthcare needs to address scenarios in which the patients are facing aspects such as cancer and obesity that are quite preventable with the right lifestyle. The question that needs to be addressed is how the healthcare needs to take a proactive role in such societal matters that affect health. The shared data that has become a hallmark of technology has been instrumental in saving lives. The same innovation needs to be transferred in ensuring that avoidable diseases and deaths are dealt with from the foundational stage.
The future of health care needs to adapt technology in delivering effective and efficient care, have a competent and motivated staff and be more proactive in community health matters. Government and private entities must play a role in ensuring that the best technology is provided. The insurance companies should be held liable in ensuring that they reflect the economy of the nation. The process should be dynamic since more and more challenges are expected with the uncertainty of the future.
Altman, Stuart H., Uwe E. Reinhardt, and Alexandra E. Shields. “The future US healthcare system: Who will care for the poor and uninsured?.” (2008).
Koch, Sabine. “Home telehealth—current state and future trends.” International journal of medical informatics 75.8 (2016): 565-576.
Kocher, Robert, Ezekiel J. Emanuel, and Nancy-Ann M. DeParle. “The Affordable Care Act and the future of clinical medicine: the opportunities and challenges.” Annals of internal medicine 153.8 (2015): 536-539.