HLT-418V: Trends and issues in health care course explore the effect of several professional and societal forces on health care policy and practice. Content comprises an analysis of current studies; health care policy and position statements; political, environmental, and cultural issues; and changing health care roles. The study of these issues examines the impact on health care delivery systems in society.
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What is health care?
Health care refers to the efforts which preserve or restore physical, mental, or emotional well-being, especially by trained and licensed professionals.
Types of health care.
Health care providers frequently talk about levels of health care. These levels of health care are divided into these four categories namely:
- Primary care.
- Secondary care.
- Tertiary care.
- Quaternary care.
This is the most familiar amongst many people because it is the first stop for an individual and most generalized stop for symptoms and medical concerns. For example, you may see a primary care doctor when you notice a new symptom or have an acute medical problem. In addition, primary care is responsible for coordinating your care among specialists and other levels of care. Examples of primary care providers include doctors, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants.
Secondary care occurs when your primary care provider refers you to a specialist. It means that you will be taken care of by someone who has specific expertise in what is ailing you. These specialists usually focus on a specific system of the body or a specific condition or illness. An example of a medical specialist is a cardiologist.
A patient may be referred to tertiary care if he or she is hospitalized and needs a higher level of specialty care within the hospital. Tertiary care requires highly specialized equipment and expertise.
Quaternary care is considered to be an extension of tertiary care. It is more specialized and highly unusual. Experimental medicine and procedures may be considered to be quaternary care.
Trends and issues in healthcare.
Costs and transparency.
The healthcare industry recently has started to implement strategies and tactics to address the growth of medical and pharmaceutical costs and impacts to access and quality of care.
The health care industry is now understanding, addressing, and assuring that all consumer interactions and outcomes are easy, convenient, timely, streamlined, and cohesive. Thus, ensuring that health fits naturally in everyone’s daily activities.
Delivery system transformation.
Actions to overcome barriers to health to better outcomes have been undertaken. These actions include operationalizing and scaling coordination and delivery system transformation of medical and non-medical services through partnerships and collaborations between healthcare and community-based organizations.
Data and analytics.
Leveraging innovative analytics and new sources of different, non-standard, unstructured, highly variable data (That is, history, labs, Rx, sensors, mHealth, IoT, Socioeconomic, geographic, genomic, demographic, lifestyle behaviors) to progress health results, reduce administrative burdens, and support transition from volume to value and facilitate individual/provider/payer effectiveness.
Consumer data access.
Actions like integrating and improving the exchange of member, payer, patient, provider data, and workflows have been undertaken. Thus, bringing the value of aggregated data and systems, For example, EHR’s, HIE’s, financial, admin and clinical data, etc, on a near real-time and cost-effective basis to all stakeholders fairly.
Holistic individual health.
The health care industry has taken steps to ensure holistic individual health. These steps include identifying, addressing, and improving the member or patient’s overall medical, lifestyle, socioeconomic, cultural, financial, educational, geographic, and environmental well-being for a smooth and connected healthcare experience.
Next-generation payment models.
Development and integration of technical and operational infrastructure and programs for a more collaborative and equitable approach to managing costs, sharing risk, and enhanced quality outcomes in the transition from volume to value.
Accessible points of care.
Health care services are now easily available. Telehealth, mHealth, wearables, digital devices, retail clinics, home-based care, micro-hospitals; and acceptance of these and other initiatives is moving care closer to home and workplaces.
Concerned with cancel/replace/modification of current healthcare policy, regulations, political uncertainty/antagonism, and lack of a disciplined regulatory process.
Tremendous improvements have occurred to stay ahead of cybersecurity threats on the privacy of consumers and other healthcare information to enhance consumer trust in sharing data. In addition, the healthcare industry is also staying current with changing landscape of federal and state privacy laws.