"Analysis of the Current Health Policy Issues" is a wonderful example of a paper on the health system. Access to healthcare is a basic right of every human being. Health is an important constituent of the social policy devised by a country. For instance in the US, the money spent on health and healthcare services as a fraction of the GDP averages to about 14% (Lee, Buse, & Fustukian, 2002). In fact, much of the policy reforms that have been taking place over the past twenty years have been in healthcare. Therefore the subject of health policy assumes a universal characteristic.
The reason for such an emphasis on health policy stems from the importance it has in determining the progress of the country (Lee, Buse, & Fustukian, 2002). There are many agencies that are working for the promotion of health at the state and the federal level. One such program that has been launched for the promotion of the health of the less-privileged is Medicaid. This program has been referred to as the healthcare program for the poor since it was founded in 1965.
Medicaid is also responsible for the provision of medical homes for children with chronic medical conditions. There is an allowance in the health reform legislation for states which have increased Medicaid funding to establish health homes for individuals who are suffering from some chronic medical condition. Although the tentative date for the provision of these health homes is on 1 January 2011, work has already ensued at a fast pace. The program would make accommodations for children as well, providing them with healthcare services to manage their chronic conditions (Ossman, 2010).
Medical home programs for children in children’ s hospitals also operate on relatively low costs and good quality services for providing healthcare services to children in particular. This paper discusses the health policy that exists with regard to the provision of healthcare services for children with chronic medical conditions. Medicaid provides healthcare services to people who meet certain criteria and are not able to afford healthcare costs. The program assesses the resources of the people and is joint funding of both the states and the federal government support the program; however, the how the program is implemented and supervised lies mainly under the control of the states.
Not only the elderly but also children are dependent upon Medicaid for the provision of care services. A major proportion of these people rely on the program to partially finance for some of their healthcare needs. However, a lot of people have questioned the equal and impartial provision of healthcare to all the poor. Over the years, the program has been seen to keep out a certain group of the poor community from its provision of services (Stevens, Rosenberg, & Burns, 2006).
As discussed above, it has been proposed that states with enhanced Medicaid funding would be spending on catering to the health needs of children with chronic medical conditions. Chronic medical conditions may depend on the intensity of the disease and the debilitation that it causes in the individual. However one aspect about them remains unchanged: they do not go away (Edwards & Davis, 1997). Healthcare delivered to children is depictive of a change in the typical “ stop and go” treatment that was being used for acute disease.
Therefore a model has been developed that is referred to as the medical home. In the past, medical care systems basically functioned to provide healthcare services for the treatment and diagnosis of acute diseases. Moreover, there was an increased focus on the immediate relief of the health problem and there was little emphasis on the health education of the family and the patient. However, over time, such attitudes have changed. Now parents are more concerned about being more aware of the chronic condition of their children and in managing it effectively.
The term medical home was first used in a book that dealt with pediatric practice. Through the years, the notion of medical homes has changed from a means of recording medically related information to a unit that offers a comprehensive, empathetic, organized, culturally efficient and holistic as well approachable by the patients. It is family-centered in nature and involves the competent medical practitioners to deliver effective healthcare to children with chronic conditions (Witchel, 2010). The Healthy People 2010 for Children with Special Health Care Needs has also made the delivery of healthcare in a medical home part of its objectives.
The program is funded and supervised by the federal government and The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 2001 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs to be reported that children who do not have access to a medical home are more likely to be devoid of the healthcare that they require. This is due to the intensive efforts that are made to ensure that the care is tailored according to the needs of the children.
An interprofessional team works on the delivery of care. The care provided focuses on planned visits, observation of disease markers, giving anticipatory instructions, and promoting self-management (Witchel, 2010). As a result, the medical home is responsible for the delivery of proactive rather than reactive healthcare. However, over the years, the perceptions of the people have changed significantly. It has been predicted that 2.2 million children in the US which have complex chronic conditions will require greater service utilization of healthcare.
Moreover, a small fraction of children in the US is producing a large part of the healthcare costs. Children with chronic medical conditions who were on Medicaid funding expended two to twenty times more than Medicaid children who had conventional healthcare needs. In fact, about 5% of the children with chronic conditions generated 70% of the healthcare costs (Kelly et al. , 2002). Given the economic discrepancy that follows with the distribution of healthcare funds, it is necessary that care is managed, using the scarce resources in the most effective way.
The Medical Homes Act of 2007 aims to deliver “ patient-centered medical homes to develop the efficacy and efficiency in giving medical assistance under the Medicaid program and child health support under the State Children's Health Insurance Program” (“ S. 2376, The Medical Homes, ” 2010). Medical homes are a step forward in the provision of round-the-clock service for managing the health condition of children suffering from chronic illnesses. Children and people from other age groups who do not have such a debilitating condition are provided with effective healthcare services. However, it is the group of children with chronic medical conditions that produce the most healthcare costs and therefore require services that cater to their needs.
The sociological impact of such a health policy that deals with medical homes under Medicaid results in the provision of health services to children whose families cannot afford to treat them. There is less disparity in the provision of healthcare services to the rich and the poor through these programs. Moreover, the health condition of the citizens of a country is an indicator of the well-being and prosperity of the community and the progress of the country on the whole.
In fact, it is an important barometer of social progress, widely mirroring the sustainability of current and future versions of how our lives are ordered on two levels: local and global (Lee, Buse, & Fustukian, 2002). Thus, in conclusion, there are many factors that influence health policy. The provision of medical homes for children with chronic health conditions has been discussed on the legislative level on many occasions and the existing medical homes and health homes are depictive of the health policy reforms that are enforced by the federal government in concert with the states.
Lee, K., Buse, K., & Fustukian, S. (2002). Health policy in a globalising world. Cambridge University Press.
Stevens, R., Rosenberg, C. E., & Burns, L. R. (2006). History and health policy in the United States: putting the past back in. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
Edwards, M. & Davis, H. (1997). Counselling children with chronic medical conditions. Wiley-Blackwell.
Ossman, A. (2010). Elevating Child Health Policy. Retrieved from http://childrenshospitals.typepad.com/
Witchel, S. F. (2010). The Medical Home Concept and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: A Comfortable Habitat! International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijpe/2010/561526.html
Kelly, A., Call, K. T., Staub, B., Donald, B., Wisner, C. L., Nelson, A. F., & Blum, R. W. (2002). Article: Children with complex chronic medical conditions and special needs privately insured through an HMO. Retrieved from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-93305049.html
S. 2376, The Medical Homes Act of 2007. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.washingtonwatch.com/bills/show/110_SN_2376.html