Financing of Home Care Essay
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In United States of America, health is an interesting topic in the society that does not only influence the well being of millions of Americans, but also influences the strength of Americas’ economy. This nation spends more on health care per person than any other nations. America is said to be having the highest infant mortality rates and a relatively low average lifespan. (Baer, 1989) For many families, lack of Health care is the source of vulnerability for the household’s economic status, as sickness or injury without health care can be a financial burden pushing families to poverty.
According to the Census Bureau, the number of Americans having Private health coverage has fallen by one percent in the recent years. Home care is a term that is used to refer to the services that are usually provided in the home. They include giving patients professional services from physiotherapist, social workers and nurses. There is also the use of supplies, inclusion of therapies and incorporation of durable medical equipment.
(Baer, 1989) The government has set the rules that have to be followed by each and every home care.
In the home care, a range of services are therefore provided to the patients. The services include home making services, medication administration, blood transfusions, physical and occupational therapists among other services. Medicare on the other hand covers the home care services for the patients that have the following characteristics; • They receive services from a Medicare • They are under the physician’s care plan • Those that are homebound • Those that need nursing care that is very much skilled or physical therapy There are various ways through which homecare is financed.
They include the following; • Government funds • Volunteers • Commercial insurers • Donations or charities • Patients These are the major ways that home care systems are financed. Research reveals that systems are not for making profits. Looking at the various sources of finance for home care, there are different percentages of income that comes from each source. The government in most cases gives the highest percentage of income to the home care. This is approximately sixty percent of the total amount sourced. Donations then follow next with twenty percent.
(Ehrenreich, 1970) Commercial insurers give approximately ten percent of the total amount of money that is used in the homecare systems. Patients are normally charged a small fee when they visit the home system and this amount to approximately five percent of the total revenue. There are normally volunteers who help out in providing some of the services free of charge and this helps to ease the burden of the costs that are incurred. Research reveals that there exists a very good relationship between the financiers and the homecare system.
There is no one who ever wants to give his or her money without wanting to know how it has been used. Taking an example of the government as the main source of finance for homecare systems, it is always concerned with the faring on of the home care. (Ehrenreich, 1970) The government is normally very concerned with issues that affect home care especially in relation to the finances therein. The administrators of the home cares normally have the responsibility of giving account of how the finances have been spent in the home care.
Looking at it from the administrator’s point of view, they normally wish that the government would do more than just send the finances to them but actually be more concerned with the whole project or the issues taking place in the home care system. To the administrators, the finances that are given by the government are not sufficient to cater for everything in the system and therefore planning becomes very hard in such a situation. The patients on the other hand are very grateful that the government decided to cater partly for their services given in the homecare because they don’t pay a lot of money.
Research carried out in the year 2006 May in the United States amongst various patients reveal that patients come from different social status. There are those from affluent families, middle and then low income families. (Schaeffer, 2002) For the low income patients, the amount of funds that are given by the government are not enough because this compels the system administrators to charge them a fee which to them is a lot comparing it to their level of income. The patients who have middle income think that the government’s support is fair and they as patients can now afford it.
For the affluent, they do not even feel the pinch of giving the little cash for getting services in the homecare but nevertheless acknowledge that the government is of great help. Donations and charities in form of funds given to the home care are given by organizations and individuals. There are various non-governmental organizations that give their donations to home care systems. According to the administrators in home care systems, donations and charities help a great deal in the smooth running of the systems.
They concur that without the help of these non-governmental organizations, and then they could not have managed to do so many things in the home care systems. Patients also as stakeholders are grateful to the invaluable help of non-governmental organizations and individuals for this has enabled very many of them to access services that they could have otherwise not been able to. According to the administrators, the help given by no-governmental organizations though it helps it is not sufficient and therefore much still needs to be done.
Looking at the relationship of the non-governmental organizations with the home care systems, one can say that there exists good relationship as the NGOs normally try to catch up on how the home cares are faring on. Research reveals that the relationship of the financier with the homecare is very important. A part from the financial help, there needs to be a mutual relationship between these two parties so that they can understand each other well. Looking at the provider or the financiers’ point of view, there is so much expectation from the home care system.
From the government’s point of view, home cares expect so much from the government and there is the tendency to think that the government has got a lot of money lying idle which can be used in the home care system. According to the officials in the government of United States, the administrators have to know that the government is doing its best to see to it that these systems are run smoothly without financial strain. This is done so that every citizen benefits from these services and especially those from low income families per say. (Warren, 2005) Conclusion
In home care, mostly the medical services are given in the home. In this case the patients are given professional services by nurses, social workers and home care assistants. These services include physiotherapy. Each and every home care system has to follow the rules that are set up by the government. (Strunk and Gabel, 2002) Home care systems are financed by various stakeholders. They include the following; the government, donations from individuals and from non-governmental organizations, small fee paid by the patients and from commercial insurers.
Among these sources the government gives the highest percentage of finances to the home care systems. This is sixty percent of the total finances in the home care systems. According to the administrators in home cares, this amount is not sufficient to cater for all the needs in home cares. They say that the government needs to add more funds. According to the patients, the government is really playing a big role in enabling them to access these important services. (Strunk, and Gabel, 2002)
To the low income patients, the funds are not enough and they should be increased so that they (patients) pay much lesser than what they are currently paying. The relationship that exists between financers and the home care systems is good. The administrators however say that the financiers need to be more concerned with all the activities that take place in the home care. Government officials say that home care administrators expect so much from them but they are doing their best to see to it that the home care systems do not strain financially at all. Reference
Baer, H. (1989): The American Dominative Medical System as Reflection of Social elations in the Larger Society. Social Science and Medicine, 28(11):1103-1112 Ehrenreich, J. (1970): The American Health Empire: Power, Profits and Politics; NY Random House, Schaeffer, S. (2002): Rising Health-Care Expenses Outpace U. S. GDP Growth, HealthCare costs rose 9. 3% in 2002 PP 207-217 Strunk, B. and Gabel, J. (2002): Tracking health care costs- Growth accelerates again In 2001; Health affairs; Pp 45-67 Warren, E. (2005): Sick and Broke; New York; Melbourne Press