Epidemiology for Health Care Administration
The Epidemiology is the study about the epidemics. It is the thorough investigation and analyses about any type of disease and health care issues in the population. According to the world health organization “Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events (including disease), and the application of this study to the control of diseases and other health problems. Various methods can be used to carry out epidemiological investigations: surveillance and descriptive studies can be used to study distribution; analytical studies are used to study determinants” ("Epidemiology").
Uses of Epidemiology
Three uses of epidemiology are, to explore the facts about the cause, thoroughly analyze it by different tools such as by using qualitative and quantitative research and to keep vigilance about that issue in the perspective of mitigation and administration.
Differences between direct and indirect agents
The main differences between direct and indirect transmission of disease agents are that direct agents involved the direct human interaction and personal touch that is the cause of disease for example, Kissing, sexual intercourse and handshaking, etc. the key point is that numerous intestine related disease are the outcome of these direct agents.
As far as the indirect agents is concerned, the use of polluted waters, contaminated foods and fomites such as Bed lines that may carry the eggs of pinworm , etc. ("Transmission of diseases," )
As far as the discussion is concerned in the perspective of epidemiology, instead of focusing on just one article, the use of different resources will be highly useful because these diversified resources will provide the bigger picture and better understanding about the concepts.
As far as the Epidemiology for Health Care Administration is concerned, it is all about the analyses of health care administrative issues and its related pros and cons. It should be borne in mind that to maintain the overall health care of the society is the critical issue that must be dealt with serious attention.
The health care administration is the multifaceted domain that ranges from the maintenance of basic infrastructure and health care equipments, planning, budgeting to the forecasting activities, etc. but behind all these types of activities, the cost is the linchpin that comes primarily at the pinnacle of the issue.
Therefore, in the connection of Epidemiology for Health Care Administration, the key issue that is the buzzword for decades and still it in the limelight is the high cost of healthcare. At this point, it should be noticed that US health care system is considered is one of the highly dedicated and advanced system around the globe. Due to the diversity and hugeness of American nation, American healthcare and its related issues are the buzzwords form the last several years. In the quest to develop the effective, efficient and error free healthcare system there are lots of activities and reforms are done and still are being developed.
However, the quest of health care reforms is not the new phenomenon, the Clinton governments also attempt to draft the bill to improve the efficiency of health care system in 1994 but it was failed. The health care situation of United States of America is changing at a rapid pace. Several trends combined over the last few decades to create greater health care inequities. Both Medicaid and Medicare, for example, contributed to sharply rising medical costs because they required state governments to reimburse hospitals and physicians at ‘reasonable’ levels determined by health care providers. Predictably, reimbursement was very generous and expenses grew quickly. Such skyrocketing medical costs, combined with the general sluggishness of the economy put health care out of reach for many Americans.
The loss of millions of jobs during the recent economic meltdown added to the growing number of people without medical insurance. The remaining jobs – increasingly nonunion, part time positions in the services sector – offered few, if any health benefits. According to the data provided by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in the year 2003 United States spends almost 7.3 percent of its total health care expenditure on administrative and insurance costs as compared to Canada which spends only 2.6% on administrative and insurance costs (Schoen & How, 2003).
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have also performed some studies which show that United States administrative cost for health insurance was 14.3% of its total health care expenditure in 2005 (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2005).
Although the change of US healthcare scene is not confined to these factors only but they are some of the major contributors for the continuously changing healthcare scene. United States experienced massive reforms in its healthcare policy during the first two years of Regan administration. Congress introduced several reforms to give more authority to States over government’s health funding as well as use Medicare and Medicaid programs to establish a better and comprehensive healthcare system (Stevens, Rosenberg, & R. Burns , 2006).
Currently, in the domain of healthcare system and its reform, President Obama’s health reforms are now the words of mouth. These reforms are being considered as the balm on the soaring pimples of the American health system in the perspective of providing the better health care facilities, especially for those who could have not afforded. The theme of the Obama’s health care policies are providing the economical facilities and covering the anomalies.
The idea and theme of these reforms that are propagating is no doubt are very ideal but the proposal that is developed in that regard are the catalyst of various questions. Here, it should be borne in mind that concept of free heath care is not really providing the free health; there is the inevitable cost that has to be bare the nation in term of direct and indirect cost.
The increasing volume of health care system means to increase the spending cuts and increasing the tax rate that adversely affect on the amount that are allocated on the different domains such as education, etc. According to the fox news, the estimated cost is decreased to 830 US billion dollars.
According to the sources, USA allocated 17.5% to the health care services of the total its GDP in 2010, this allocated percent in second largest allocation around the globe on the health care systems. However, despite this gigantic allocation, US health care cost is still very high because of overutilization of services, medical errors, High administrative costs, non-standard practice patterns, and death because of medical errors that are key factors. In contrast, the administrative cost in the USA is about 50% higher than the it’s neighborhood Canada.
Therefore, there is still the dire need to reduce the administrative cost by proper analyzing and using advanced technology. To transform the health care domain into the errorless, cost-effective and efficient system American government are still is the quest.
However, despite the American government reforms, the issues specially the high cost of the health is the key factor of people’s outcry but as the user and implementer of epidemiological approach the other factor should be bring in the limelight so that factual information could be analyzed for the concrete results.
According to the Cato institute, “The increasing share of medical bills paid by third-party payers (insurance companies and governments) and the disastrous consequences are documented. Patients overuse medical resources since those resources appear to be free or almost free. Producers of medical equipment create new and more expensive devices, even if they are of only marginal benefit, since third-party payers create a guaranteed market. Attempts to rein in those costs have led to a blizzard of paperwork but proven ineffective in controlling costs” (Cato 2010).
Therefore, proper vigilance and analysis is inevitable during the process of policy formalization and implementation because there will be no use of such kind of policies that are unable to nurture the grassroots of the society. Another reason of the increasing medical cost is the careless attitude of Americans towards their health, majority of the Americans prefer to enjoy chocolate, burgers and other different types of fast foods but pay less attention to do proper exercise and jogging that is the major cause of increasing health care cost for both the individuals and the United States.
Furthermore, the third party payments is the another catalyst of increasing health care cost, as per estimate this cost to be over $300 billion with the $33 billion administration cost (Consumerreports 2010).
Furthermore, according to the General Accounting Office, “the largest writer of medical malpractice insurance in Florida increased premium rates for general surgeons in Dade County by approximately 75 percent from 1999 to 2002, while the largest insurer in Minnesota increased premium rates for the same specialty by about 2 percent over the same period. The resulting 2002 premium rate quoted by the insurer in Florida was $174,300 a year, more than 17 times the $10,140 premium rate quoted by the insurer in Minnesota"
Besides, at this point it will be useful to cite that, poor and inadequate information is the catalyst to the wrong decision that directly or indirectly affects adversely on the cost that is buzzword among the people and challenge for the respective authorities.
According to the Congressional Budget office and the White House, “the maximum share of income that enrollees would have to pay for the "silver" healthcare plan premium would vary depending on their income relative to the federal poverty level(FPL), as follows: for families with income 133–150% of FPL will be 4-4.7% of income, for families with income 150–200% of FPL will be 4.7-6.5% of income, for families with income 200–250% of FPL will be 6.5-8.4% of income, for families with income 250-300% of FPL will be 8.4-10.2% of income, for families with income from 300-400% of FPL will be 10.2% of income. In 2016, the FPL is projected to equal about $11,800 for a single person and about $24,000 for family of four” (An Analysis of Health Insurance Premiums Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S.A. is planned to expend over 2.5 US trillion dollars in the health care domain during 2009, or 8,160 US dollar to per U.S. resident. Health spending in 2009 is projected to account for 17.6% of GDP ("Research, statistics, data,"), 17.5% in 2010 and it’s further to grow upto 20% by the year 2020. ("Health care industry") and there are about 46 million Americans who are living without having proper health care facilities. “Health insurance premiums have doubled in the last 8 years, rising 3.7 times faster than wages in the past 8 years. Increasing co-pays and deductibles threaten access to care” ("Obama’s healthcare plan,”).
At the present critical juncture, there exist a complete consensus that United States health care payment system badly needs some revolutionary changes and reforms. This new and reformed health care system will be responsible to provide affordable and quality health care to all American citizens along with numerous health benefits, access to quality health services and reinvigorated delivery system.
However, despite this huge spending, there are still a loop holes in the system that are being catalyst to improve the cost and creating the barriers in front of the American people to reap the rightful benefit of this system.
However, the current presidency of Obama and the House of Representatives approved the new healthcare bill in 8th November 2009 in the connection of decreasing the cost and improving the system’s efficiency. Therefore, it could be hoped that new Obama’s reform will opened the new door of fresh and fruitful opportunities and facilities in the shape of lower cost and efficient services.
It would like to concluded that, proper vigilance and analysis is inevitable during the process of policy formalization and implementation because there will be no use of such kind of policies that are unable to nurture the grassroots of the society.
Therefore, the essence of the above discussion is that in the domain of health care management proper and authentic research is the linchpin that unveils the aspects that are almost impossible to understand to cope. In that connection the use of epidemiology will be the catalyst to extract the key factors that are being caused of hurdles in front of health care management because the key essence of epidemiology is to investigate, analyzed and to cope the issue that are the inevitable aspects not only in the domain of epidemics but also in the domain of health care management.