Health Care Costs

For decades, American citizens have continued to be consistent proponents of comprehensive health care reforms that will provide health care services to all. The intent is a system that is affordable and accessible even for the scrawny as well as the most vulnerable in the society. Health care cost comes out as the critical impending reform that requires much attention and careful strategies to address.  To be more precise, the health care costing ought to be truly universal and genuinely affordable (Murphy, 2009). In her pointer paper in business week about the so perceived 10 avenues that can best provide a reduction towards healthcare costs imminently, Catherine Arnst highlights a detailed approach in achieving the much awaited reform on health care costs. A projected 700 billion dollars has been attributed to what is annually wasted in the United States medication system. Close to a third of the country’s medical expenditure is arguably sunk into unnecessary treatments frauds, redundant tests just but a few. Arnst postulates that if this cost is cut by half, undoubtedly, top notch medical services will be imminent. Some of the ways to achieve this, she proposes among them a crack down on fraud and abuse, coordination of health care through family doctors in addition to developing a healthy workforce. This study analyses these propositions with intent of establishing their applicability.

To begin with is the proposition of cracking down on fraud and abuse. According to Arnst, crime has turned out to be an enormous contributor to health care costing. As an industry in its own capacity, it is operated pretty much in terms of a honor system. Arguably, the continued fight on illegal drugs, prearranged crimes, has as well continued to consume fiscal resources in terms of multimillion medical scams with minimal chances of being detected.  For instance, the FBI nodes that deceptive billing on medical care as well as private insurance consumes up to 10% of the sum expenditure on health care. What is more worrying is that these figures may be too low. In light of this, the most distinct frauds entail fake claims rigged payment schemes in most of the states. Additionally, majority of the privately operated insurance companies relied on the rule of law to cut down on unnecessary cost with most realizing positive turnovers.   To exemplify this assertion, the Blue Cross Assurance has managed to realize an estimated 43% from such lawful initiatives.

Loaded with this fact, the impending question is whether there are any medical services companies or hospitals that have implemented this proposition. The Ernst and Young limited comes handy in this connection. In its initiative tabbed the EY-ethics hotline, the company has been able to track down most of the illegal conspiracies as well as unethical doings aimed at reducing uncalled for expenses. This method provides an avenue of reporting conduct that is deemed unethical illegal perceived to be violating the professional standards among its staff to guard the company’s code of conduct (E&Y, 2011). This is a welcome lawful approach that in Arnst’s words is intended to crack down on fraudulent deeds and minimize abuse. In addition, the organization’s management encourages the public to raise any concerns directly to the management for such deemed illegal intents. Arguably, through the implementation of this crack down initiative, cost incurred by the company have drastically reduced in terms of payment for law suit fines and bonds, which could otherwise find their way to be borne by the consumer. This implies that the company has made relentless efforts in implementing one of the suggestions put forward by Catherine Arnst. If all governmental and privately ran medical organizations take after Ernst & Young, the sum cost spend unnecessarily will undoubtedly come down thus reducing overall medical care cost.

Another proposal by Arnst is that reduction of health care costs can be realized through the coordination of health care services through family doctors. To develop this assertion, she argues that there are situations where a patient who is suffering from either a chronic illness or even more than one may be compelled to consult more than one physician but the worrying trend is that they could not be consulting. This basically points out that there is minimal or no coordination at all rendering complimentary treatment a nightmare. In this connection, patients are bound to incur extra costs due to duplicate tests and prescriptions estimated at costing the nation a range of $50 billion annually (Business-Week, 2009). With a form of patient pinned medical homes, a prime doctor will be tasked with organizing the specialists to attend to the registered patients and enhance sharing of the medical records. Arguably, such an initiative will come with almost 5% cost reduction.

In this connection, the organization has a well elaborate advisory database and provides a variety of services to the clients (patients). Among them are risk management and financial advices. Through the data base, loyal patients are bound to enjoy monitored treatment from all the company’s branches. This way, uncalled for expenses and tests as well as duplicate prescriptions will be minimized. Additionally, Our Ernst & Young Advisory practice uses its sector-focused approach and global delivery capabilities to help manage risk, transform business performance and sustain improvement. The company possesses over twenty thousand professional advisors in more than 140 states.  The prime intent of this is developing a single consistent methodology (E&Y, 2010). This has enhanced collection of knowledge and insights into their client’s records making operational costs cheaper due to efficiency. Otherwise, without such an extensive network, risk of duplicate treatment to its clients would be imminent. Important to note though is that the company has not developed a home medical care as that proposed by Arnst but its policies are aimed at curbing the aforementioned impacts of duplicate treatment.

Finally, the development of a health workforce was proposed. The guiding principal behind this assertion is that prevention pays. For instance, the Johnson & Johnson group has continued to provide to offer its employees what is commonly called the comprehensive wellness program which has yielded a staggering $225 savings per annum on each employee. Though not fully implemented at Ernst &Yong, the company has well established measures that guide their employees as a comprehensive cover. The employment relations are intended to see to it that their workforce is health to maximize their efficiency.

From this analytical perspective, I fully assert that provided an opportunity, the propositions put forward by Arnst are a force to reckon with. Stepwise implementation of these approaches is vital in any medical organization. First, there should be an elaborate legal framework manifested within the management that will see to it that financial management is apt.   Punitive measures should further affirm that the management upholds ethical standards. A home based medical center is acknowledged but in capacity of management, I propose that through advanced technology, assorted medical centers should post their records online which can only be accessed upon request and consent from the patient. Also, prevention as exemplified at J & J Company is fully supported by this study.

In conclusion, it is evident that Arnst’s proposals are pragmatic and each medical care centre should adopt them as Ernst & Young have tried through its varied polices. This will undoubtedly cut down on medical cost and achieve the long awaited reforms.