The past few years have seen the introduction of privacy protections in electronic health records, testing and treatment of newborns for HIV, and the introduction of mental healthcare under insurance coverage. While every generation thinks they are in the golden age of medicine, the current generation may actually be living in one.
More information is available to help in the deduction of whether an individual is predisposed to developing certain health conditions. The wealth of information available makes it easier to understand how your body uses medication and how to deal with some ailments – especially cancers. The information available has also helped increased access to medical services and tools such as hearing aids in Manchester.
However, the golden age requires increased personal responsibility in light of medical improvements available that have not only helped extend life, but also raise costs. In fact, data shows that what causes some illnesses is not something that requires going to the doctor for a pill, diagnostic testing, or even requires fixing. While the golden age is a good thing, it does bring with it the following issues when it comes to national and state health care.
Rural Health Care
Rural areas have fewer doctors with many rural hospitals already shut down. In such cases, general practitioners depend on nurse practitioners and physician assistants since recruiting doctors to small towns has become a challenge. Furthermore, luring specialists to these areas is almost impossible.
Even with the reduced manpower, family doctors remain appreciative of the talents and skills offered since things work best for patients when practitioners work as a team. In the last decade, a growing number of doctors have preferred to focus on offering patient care.
Nevertheless, management issues, like high technology costs and paperwork, are left to health care corporations. This close connection has worked towards streamlining the process of transferring very sick patients to hospitals even as far as 50 miles away.
Health Insurance Procedures
The prior authorization and utilization review of health insurance has become an impediment to the otherwise joyful practice of healing. With the increased medication costs, several hurdles are making a relatively simple process harder.
For example, in the case of abdominal pain, your physician may recommend getting a CAT-scan from next door. However, insurance companies today will not let you have the scan until you fill out extra forms and paperwork. The delay caused can put you at risk.
In such cases, some doctors advise patients to consider a low-cost alternative like a low-dose CT-scan lung cancer screening for current and former smokers. A few insurance coverage firms have a 25-year smoking minimum before they can provide adequate coverage.
Cost of Prescription Drugs
When patients cannot afford their medication, the implementation of what is required becomes even harder. While a few strategies can help, the complicated issue requires the input of several key players in the health care system. However, one of the things that should be implemented is the full disclosure of drug prices.
Some of the reasons for increased drug prices include pharmaceutical benefits managers who are supposed to be saving money for insurance companies or patients. Unfortunately, the prices are not coming down for the patient – which is the main objective.
Overall, the question is whether many players in the health industry have changed enough to foster a change in the entire chain. While it has not happened, it remains critical that the discussion on improving healthcare continues. The main objective for all players is to ensure that patients are well cared for throughout their lives, and one way of doing this is by addressing these three issues in this golden age of medicine.