Rising Cost of Health Care Essay

1295 Words Jul 22nd, 2013 6 Pages
The Rising Cost of Health Care: Effects on Access to Care The rising cost of health care is a trend that is negatively influencing access to health care. According to our course textbook, Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care, over 46 million Americans did not have health coverage in 2008, and 25 million American adults were underinsured (p. 124-125). For most people, this can be attributed to the high cost of premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the history of the trend of rising health care costs, the influence rising costs have on the delivery of health care, how rising costs create disparities in health care, and two ways that nurses can address inadequate access to health care. …show more content…
Current priorities in health care favor heroic tertiary care over less costly preventive care, which could result in better economic and human benefits (Sultz & Young, 2011, p. 22). Patients without adequate health coverage because of the high cost of premiums and co-pays, and out-of-pocket expenditures, do not access primary care, which focuses on the prevention of disease. Instead, they seek health care at the tertiary stage for the treatment of illnesses versus the prevention of illness. Better health outcomes would result if interventions were initiated in the prevention stage. Unfortunately, lack of affordable health care for many perpetuates the focus on treatment versus prevention, and therefore, results in poorer health outcomes. Another influence the rising cost of health care is having on the delivery of health care today is that health care workers, such as nurses, are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. These feelings can lead to burnout and cause many nurses to leave the profession. Budgetary constraints in the health care system reduce the number of caregivers at patient bedsides, and increase the burden on those left to provide care. Frustrated with the inability to provide the quality care they feel their patients deserve, many nurses choose to leave the profession. This perpetuates the lack of caregivers at patient bedsides and leads to more frustration by nurses and patients alike.
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