The current Healthcare Delivery in the U. S is faced by a number of problems among them there being too much intervention by the government, fragility and practical fragmentation at the community, state and national levels. The U. S Healthcare Delivery system lacks stipulated guiding policies that encourage division of labor and the physicians at community level do not collaborate with the others. The fragmentation of the Healthcare system has resulted to so many uninsured people, bureaucracy and an exorbitant expenditure which has in turn played a significant role towards the overall inefficiency of the healthcare delivery. This paper examines the healthcare delivery in the United States particularly by assessing the characteristics of the Healthcare system like: the Health plan coverage rate, the quality and cost of the Healthcare, people who have access to the care and the continuity of the same.
The fragmentation of the U.S Healthcare has resulted to poor patients’ experiences (particularly for those with chronic diseases), duplication and wastage which in turn have constrained the delivery of efficient high quality care. In deed, the U.S healthcare quality is compromised by a number of factors like racial difference, lack of accountability, medical errors and low insurance status that result to the overall poor performance in the delivery of the healthcare. According to Anthony, “The fragmented Healthcare system rewards high-cost, intensive medical intervention over higher-value primary care, including preventive medicine and the management of chronic illness”. (Shih, Davis et al, 2008,). The healthcare for the military personnel is provided through TRICARE whereby civilian contractors are used to complement the care provided at military health centers on contractual basis. (GAO, 2005). The TRICARE program was affected by issues in the initial stages of implementation that led to high costs. In spite of that, healthcare delivery to the beneficiaries was least affected because the Department of Defense continued to meet the costs of implementing the program. The collaboration of military services in developing a viable Military Treatment Facilities’ healthcare plan improved the quality and consistency of the healthcare delivery. The military personnel are fully covered by the TRICARE health delivery plan whose costs are fully incurred by the government. Despite that, the steep rise in the care costs in the early 90s led to the forcing out of some retirees from the plan and driving them into cheaper healthcare coverage. (Weiner, 2005).
According to Tim, “TRICARE, the overall military health plan, has nearly nine million beneficiaries. Its only cost to participants is an annual fee, no higher than $460 a year, covering all veterans and their families. TRICARE for life, which supplements Medicare, is free. It covers military retirees over 65, their spouses and, in some cases, their former spouses for as long as any of them live”. (Weiner, 2005). TRICARE has the lowest medical fees that are affordable to military personnel. This healthcare delivery is accessible to basically all employees in the Department of Defense upon payment of an enrolment fee plus other charges that are determined by the type of care to be received. The U. S government cost shares the Medicare expenses and uses competent specialists and physicians who deliver high quality care to the patients. The updating of the military identification documents upon attaining the age of 65 is credible evidence that the continuity of the healthcare delivery is guaranteed. In deed, Tim confirms that there is guaranteed healthcare delivery of more than 85 percent to the active-duty members’ dependants and 80 percent care delivery to the retirees. (Weiner, 2005).
The U.S government is actively involved in the healthcare delivery through the funding of Medicare expenses and setting the healthcare fees. Following that, the patients do not incur the expenses or if they do so, they pay very little as the healthcare has been subsidized by the government. In addition to that, the healthcare delivery is available to both uninsured and insured patients who access information and care during the normal working hours from competent physicians. The paperwork/documentation that mostly features in the U. S Healthcare delivery serves as evidence that each patient’s total care is well accounted for. In deed, there is guaranteed continuity of care since the U.S Healthcare delivery system is tirelessly learning and formulating new strategies to optimize the quality, lower the costs and improve the value of the healthcare delivery. Re-organizing the healthcare delivery system will also hasten the improvement in value and quality of the healthcare delivery.
Government Accountability Office. (2005, July 27). Defense Healthcare Implementation Issues. New TRICARE Contracts and Regional Structure, GAO 05-773, 1.
Shih, A., Davis., Gauthier, A., & McCarthy, D. (2008). Organizing the U.S Healthcare
Delivery System for High Performance. The Commonwealth Fund, 98, 1-2.
Weiner, T. (2005, April 14). A New Call to Arms: Military Healthcare. New York Times, p.5.