The Impact of Financial Factors on Health Care Delivery
There has been a great deal of discussion about how various aspects of healthcare financing impacts the health care delivery system. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, everyone conceivably has access to health care through government provided credits which would seem to suggest that everyone now has the same access to health care. Additionally, given that health care providers now have a better chance of obtaining third party reimbursement it stands to reason that the health care delivery system would improve due to more stable finances and less time needed fighting for reimbursement. Despite such streamlined efforts however, there continues to be financial factors that affect the health care delivery system.
The location and variety of health care services is not determined strictly from the desire to help underserved populations. Companies who build new health care facilities determine placement to maximize the potential for income. This means that poor areas which often have large minority populations have less likelihood of new facilities being built than wealthy suburbs. In one example, a health care corporation decided to build a new hospital in an area that had three major hospitals and a Children’s hospital. It was decided to build in that area due to the wealth of the surrounding community and the fact they did not draw many patients from that area to their other hospitals due to closer competitors. It was estimated that they could end up drawing 70 percent of their patients from that area alone with a new hospital (ref- please fill in as you did not provide the information to complete).
Another factor which affects healthcare delivery systems is diverse goals of stakeholders. Whereas providers may focus more on quality of care and safety, administrators and executives may be more likely to focus on cost containment and profitability and community health care leaders may focus more on access to care. With a number of divergent goals and financial goals being deemed most important by those that run the healthcare facility, positive change may be hindered or the only change that decision makers may find important are those that have financial implications (Porter, 2010).
Porter, M. E. (2010). What is value in health care? New England Journal of Medicine, 363(26), 2477-2481.