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Respond to the following discussion post as a peer

Health Science

Respond to the following discussion post as a peer. The US healthcare system is not an easy concept to describe in a straightforward way. Many developed countries fall into one of many categories of systems, such as single-payer, multiple-payer, or a national health service. The US, however, takes aspects of each of these systems in different ways building a patchwork hybrid system that as both public and private payors (Klassen, 2020). Because the system is so heterogeneous it is burdened with problems of inefficiency, inconsistent quality, low accessibility, and high administrative costs. US health care expenditures per capita are multiples higher than similarly developed countries, while lagging in key indicators of quality like life expectancy and infant mortality (Klassen, 2020). Much of this increase in costs is attributable to administrative costs that account for nearly a third of health care spending within the US (Dewar, 2017).

Throughout the political history of the 20th and 21st centuries these inefficiencies have been addressed in various ways with varying amounts of success. Employer-based health care insurance and public programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have been implemented to attempt to increase coverage and access to health care for US citizens (Klassen, 2020). Most recently, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has provided the greatest overhaul of the US health care system since Medicare, though not without much political strife and technological difficulties (Klassen, 2020). The ACA has specifically identified the importance of preventative health, for example, by requiring coverage for preventive care procedures due to the increased costs associated with chronic illnesses. Overall, the US healthcare system occupies a crossroads of affordability, accessibility, economic incentives, and technological innovation.

I have had the benefit of never being without health insurance or access to care. As a young adult I benefited from the ACA because I was able to stay on my parents plan until I turned 26, long after I started working for a company that provided medical, dental, and vision benefits. I have also been acutely aware of the importance of preventative health care habits. My worldview could bias me towards not understanding how difficult it can be for people in disadvantaged populations to gain access to quality health care. As a pharmacist in an inpatient setting, my focus is often on balancing the quality of care with the increasing costs of medications through intense formulary management. Removing low use, high cost medications may save the hospital money but if a patient needs a specific medication this can reduce their quality of care through long waiting periods or denial of order which could be another bias on my perspective of the health care system. I try to keep these concepts in mind when making cost savings recommendations and when writing policy for my department.

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