How will healthcare systems evolve to best leverage a global market for their services?
What will a growing share of healthcare dollars mean to the healthcare work force in a stagnant or slow growing general economy?
How will smart phones create new jobs in healthcare?
Will genomic research eliminate certain diseases by modifying a person’s DNA?
How will the massive chronic care needs of a ton of old people create new careers opportunities?
What new jobs may be created to best meet new consumer demands for more patient-focused care? Less institutionalization of the elderly? And better access to culturally appropriate care givers?
So what do you think? What’s the job market likely to look like for you in ten or so years?
Part 6A: The Affordable Care Act (2 pages)
What is the likely impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on healthcare access, cost, and quality?
Who is newly covered and how is this achieved?
What are exchanges and how are different States approaching them?
What does the Medicaid program have to do with the ACA? How will health insurance premiums be affected?
What variables are in play in the political debate over the impact of the ACA on cost, access, and quality of care?
What are some of the key implementation challenges facing state and national policy makers?
On balance, is the ACA a good or bad law? Provide a clear, fact-based, non-emotional justification for your conclusion.
Part 6B: Hospital costs (2 pages)
Hospitals account for the largest amount of healthcare expenditures in our system.
In your research, remember that the concept of “margin” refers to the difference between costs paid out by the hospital and revenue received as payment for those costs, and that of “Payment-to-cost” ratio is the margin expressed as a percent. A positive percent means that payments were greater than costs and a negative percent means that the costs exceeded payment.
What’s the big deal about hospital administrative costs and what, if anything, should be done about them?
(As you answer this question, it’s important to remember that the hospital’s administrative costs cover the salaries of healthcare administrators like you).
Part 7: What are we going to do with all the old people? (2 pages)
Over the next two decades, 78 million Americans will grow old. That’s the largest number ever in the US.
At present, there are around 16,000 nursing homes with 1.7 million beds and about a 15 percent vacancy rate. (See: CDC – Resources on Nursing Home Care).
Clearly, unless the Nation undertook a massive building program, there will be many, many more old people than the number of available number of LTC beds.
So what are we going to do with all the geezers like me?
Are LTC beds the only place to put us? Are there other alternatives that are more cost-efficient? Given all the issues of poor quality in many LTCs, do we really even want to keep traditional nursing homes as an option? What might old people really want? What are younger people willing to support financially? What role might pharmaceutical products have in managing age-related issues? What would be the best way for people to age out into death?
As we think about answers to those questions, there is another level of analysis that looks at the ethics of old age. For example, do you think that everyone has the right to use all the Medicare services they want – regardless of the decisions made about their health when they were younger? In other words, should all old people share an equal right to federally supported healthcare even if they did not share the same level of responsibility in their earlier choices regarding food, exercise, drugs, and alcohol?