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The US health care system may be characterized by the various aspects. It may be among the world’s most sophisticated health care systems. In the US, the health care system is one of most important social and economic systems. The health care policy is much opinionated and scrutinized. Characteristics such as lack of a centralized governing agencies based on insurance, imperfect market conditions, and demand for advanced technology have a significant influence on access to health care, health seeking behaviors of the people, and provider behavior.
Access to Health Care
Health care access is a tremendous predicament faced by the numerous families in the US. Many people are not able to visit a doctor as the health care services have become unreachable without insurance. In America, the health care is conducted under the imperfect market conditions, which prevent the patients from the option to decide on which provider to choose. Health care is covered by the Medicare and Medicaid, but in this case, the patients pay for their own bills. Moreover, they have an inadequate concept of the products they are using, which makes it difficult for the patients to decide on their medication. The hidden cost and information make it hard for the consumers to weigh the full expense of the service (Andersen, 2011, p. 5). The US health care is limited. It favors only the patients who have health insurance via their employers, can pay privately, buy insurance by their own, and are under the government health care program. Not all Americans can use the health care services as they are not available without health insurance, which reimburses medication.
The Health Seeking Behaviors
Health seeking behaviors should imply the personal action to promote optimal wellness, recovery, and rehabilitation. The US has been the source of innovation and research in the modern medical technology. The new technology creates new and improved services. Most of the patients are going for the new medicine, while the health care providers prefer the new gadgets. Many hospitals compete to have modern equipment and make a profit from it. Therefore, the new technology health care has become more costly, whereas insurance companies are not lowering their premiums. Not all the citizens of the United States are able to receive a modernized medication. In addition, the new technology has limited resources to invest in (Gochman, 2011, p. 27).
Health care in the US is not centrally managed; however, it may be financed both privately and publicly. Private companies manage most of the health care services independently from the government. However, the government plays a significant role in the health care distribution, namely in the public sector expenditure and return rates for care provided to Medicare and Medicaid patients and in formulation of the standards of participation. As a result, the providers can comply with the standards implemented by the government for better delivery of service to the patients.
Delivery of the health services is mainly offered by the private companies. In the US, there exists a free competition among the health care providers. The consumers have united into the private health plans. In response, the providers have formed the networks that offer a variety of the health services (Kovner, 2011, p.271). In the various parts of the US, a solitary health system controlls the medical care services restricting the competition. These giant sole providers can only be managed in the large metropolitan areas, and only more than one giant medical care system may be introduced to compete in the health plans.
Many people in the United States do not have an adequate health care insurance. Most of the insurance covers do not meet the expenses of a severe illness. The government should introduce the national health care programs that enable the patients to choose the health care providers by themselves. The health care system should be centrally controlled by the government, like in the other developed countries. This will help to finance, pay and deliver health care to every citizen.
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