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Healthcare Reform

Healthcare+Reform

The past two years in America have been full of new reforms and changes. The healthcare system is an example of a system that has undergone revision.  

One state, for example, is tackling racism in our healthcare system.  Connecticut recently passed the Health Equity Measures Bill. This bill is an attempt to eliminate racism in Healthcare.  It requires the collection of better data on race and ethnicity in the healthcare system, mandates hospitals to conduct implicit bias training for healthcare workers, and orders the public health commissioner to study the number of healthcare workers that are people of color.  This bill also has different sub-layers. One of these sub-layers states that the congressmen and women voted to create a “commission on racial equity in public health that would examine the impact of racism ‘on vulnerable populations within diverse groups’” (Jenna Carlesso).

Additionally, throughout the country, some states like Connecticut and New York are mandating Healthcare workers to get vaccinated.

Locally, COVID has brought new mandates to our area hospitals. Josi Micheals, a surgical prep nurse at Jewish Hospital, shared her experiences and thoughts about these new reforms.

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Ms. Michaels does not have to worry about vaccine mandates for healthcare workers this the staff at the Jewish Hospital is fully vaccinated. Even so, new Covid rules have still impacted them greatly. During the start of the pandemic “elective surgeries were down to just the bare minimum ones that were classified as urgent for two months,” meaning that thousands of patients were not able to get the surgeries they needed for a better quality of life. After that two-month period, though, most operations were up and running. 

Visitor policy also changed too, as now only one visitor per patient is allowed. Another new change is that all patients are required to be “Covid tested 5 to 6 days prior to surgery,” creating a lot of extra work for the staff. 

Outside of Covid, Ms.Michaels explained how several of the rules and regulations change quite often. Something that does not change is diversity training as part of the learning modules they do each year. Since many states have put new bills in place to have more diversity training, it seems like at the Jewish Hospital diversity training is always important. 

Although America has reformed some of its healthcare policies, there are still many problems that are causing distress to many Americans.  As of 2011, on a list of 20 other countries, the U.S ranked first for healthcare expenditures but it ranked last for coverage of these expenses. Obama’s Affordable Care Act (2010) has lowered the uninsured rate to 12%, yet there are still 50% of Americans that don’t get the recommended preventive care and screening they need, and the cost and quality of healthcare are still a bit subpar.  

Another issue that some believe needs to be addressed is the problems with getting patients quality care.  For instance, there are some smaller, private healthcare systems that are independent of larger and much more coordinated facilities, so getting patient’s information and consistent care can be difficult. These small facilities often do not tell the other hospitals what care their patients received which is a significant contributor as to why the prices of healthcare are increasing and the quality of care is so staggered.

These problems with pricing and care are why many medical organizations want more reforms. The American Medical Association believes that all uninsured people should receive healthcare, with coverage that goes beyond the Affordable Care Act. The APHA wants new regulations that focus on preventing diseases instead of treating them. This way the large amount of funds that are spent on treating diseases, can go to better uses. They also believe more reforms that address disparities in health care for minorities and other groups should be expanded. 

 

Works Cited

Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). “Strategic Goal 1: Reform, Strengthen, and Modernize the Nation’s Healthcare System.” HHS.gov, 21 July 2021, www.hhs.gov/about/strategic-plan/strategic-goal-1/index.html#obj_1_1.

“Health Reform.” AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION, apha.org/topics-and-issues/health-reform.

Khanh Nguyen, Alise Garcia. Health Disparities Legislation, www.ncsl.org/research/health/health-disparities-laws.aspx.

Russell, Ellen-Marie Whelan and Lesley. “Why We Need Health Care Reform.” Center for American Progress, www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/reports/2010/02/25/7355/why-we-need-health-care-reform/.

“U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective, 2019: Higher Spending, Worse Outcomes?” U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective, 2019 | Commonwealth Fund, www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/jan/us-health-care-global-perspective-2019.

 

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