Relationship between Health Care Cost and Quality
It is evidence that the health care cost and the quality goes hand in hand. It is the obligation of the health facilities to facilitate better quality at an affordable cost. The need for high quality and affordable health care led to the coming up of the Affordable Care Act in the United States (Cutler, 2014). In order to analyze the relationship between the cost and quality, several factors must be studied. These includes the cost, the quality data and the discharge. Hospitals are therefore facing immense pressure to make sure that they provide quality healthcare at an affordable cost. However, some stakeholders are afraid that the tradeoffs between the cost and quality may lead to health care providers offering lower quality services particular in instances of hospitals with lower rates of expenditures and cost. Documented facts have shown that hospitals, which charge less for their healthcare services, discharge their patients earlier (Bisognano & Kenney, 2012). This in the short term leads to saving on cost but in the end, the rate of readmission is high which in return will lead to the patient incurring more over on the long run.
Public and Private Agency and Their Roles
There are different public agency and private agencies that have come up to address the issue of healthcare quality in the United States. We have the Hospital Compare. This is under the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA), which is a public agency. The major role played by hospital compare is to provide information to the public in addressing the issues of quality healthcare at an affordable cost. In this, both the patients and health care providers can compare the quality of care given which can enhance the process of decision-making. The major activities employed by this is by coming up with a web tool. This is where credible reports and user friendly information is synthesized about the quality of healthcare in nation’s hospitals ((U.S.), 2011).
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is a private agency that promotes the quality of health care. A non-profit organization, which enhance change through healthcare improvement at an affordable cost. It collaborates with the major stakeholders in the health care community, which includes the health care professionals and patients. Their main role is to encourage adoption of the best practices. In addition, they ensure that effective innovations are implemented for maximized quality at an affordable cost (Yong, Saunders, Olsen, Care., & (U.S.), 2011).
Initiatives for Quality-Cost Improvements
Several current and projected initiatives that are aimed at controlling the cost while maximizing the quality exist. The Affordable Care Act meant that the Americans have rights to affordable and quality health care. Among the strategies, which both the state and federal governments have employed, includes the reduction of administrative expenses, which in return increases competition, which in essence leads to cheaper, quality health services. Moreover, in order to improve quality at an affordable cost there is the establishment of the premium and cost sharing assistance. This is mainly to the low-income earners. Working with the healthcare communities e.g. the private organization, communities and the state to offer outreach and enrolment assistance is another strategy that can be applied in future. This will in return ensures that reforms and policies of the Affordable Care Act is implemented (Cutler, 2014).
Moreover, the state can employ other initiatives. There should be strategies that reviews the unreasonable increases in rates. Furthermore, policies that controls biasness in premium rates brought about by the gender, occupation and the health status of a person. In addition, there should be massive investment in the health care researches. This will in return ensures that outcomes are greatly improved through delivering of high quality care at an affordable cost.
They should also design initiatives that makes the health care providers accountable for the safety of the patients. This will in return leads the health care providers offering quality services to their patients, as they are liable to any mistakes they do in their line of duty. In addition, the accessibility and the integration of the databases on healthcare should also be improved. This will return ensures that the researchers can effectively identify health-protective, cost saving and the quality enhancing practices (Bisognano & Kenney, 2012).
The major unintended consequences of this is that on the verge of concentrating so much on the affordable care cost it may discourage innovations. This is attributed by the fact that there are no incentives to intended developments. In the end, this leads to lower quality healthcare at a cheaper cost. The policies adopted therefore should also look at the interest of all the health care providers when coming up with them. This in the end will ensure we can have a high quality healthcare at an affordable cost.
There are several implications for nurses in relation to the cost and quality. Evidence based practice (EBP) is one of them. EBP is the process in which the nurses can make decisions based on their experience, skills and expertise based upon the evidence. This can greatly be enhanced through innovative technologies and acquiring addition skills and knowledge. In the end, with a good in-depth knowledge affecting the patients, nurses can observe the trends and come up with better strategies to deal with any weaknesses. In the end, they can suggest important guidelines which when followed can lead to reduction in cost while maximizing quality (Cutler, 2014).
In conclusion, the above argument have documented the relationship that exist between the health care cost and quality. It is therefore the responsibility of all the health care community to adopt the necessary policies and strategies to ensure that a high quality health care system is achieved in an affordable manner.