The Role Of Health Policy

927 Words 4 Pages
Health policy can be defined as the "decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific healthcare goals within a society (Heiman, Smith, McKool, Mitchell & Roth Bayer, 2016). It provides the context in and framework in which health care and public health systems operate. Most of the design and operation of the nation’s health care system is intertwined with the national economic and political environment (Williams & Torrens, 2008). An explicit health policy can achieve several things: first, it can define a vision and goals for the future and can outline priorities and expected roles of different groups. Health policies are designed to look at all angles of the problem and to come up with a solution based on the information …show more content…
Like the chicken or the egg; some may argue which came first. Health care systems set the framework for the development of health policy and health policy influences the way a health care system develops and operates (Williams & Torrens, 2008). For instance, a health care system or program is formed and initiated; then a health policy is defined. Once the health policy is defined, the original health system or program may be expanded, improved or changed completely because of the health policy. This cycle is often times continuous with each change resulting in additional policies and additional changes, making it very easy to forget where everything actually …show more content…
One of the most recent focuses in health care has been quality. In the past, quality and outcomes were not really matters of public policy. They were primarily internal and organizational issues but have since become a hot topic of health care reform. Monitoring the quality of the health care services that are offered in the U.S. is a tremendously challenging feat. Over the course of the last 10 years, it has been realized that quality enhancing saves lives and saves money. Consumers, employers, and insurance companies are demanding the highest quality, most efficient services at the lowest possible price. That has compounded the need for transparency in the health care world. There is a new expectation of the ability to know how well a particular provider (physician, medical group or system, hospital, or agency) does in regards to a particular procedures and processes. According to Williams & Torrens (2008), there are now new reimbursement systems that set payment rates based on the basis of performance which is driving the need for quality and process improvement

Related Documents