Safety Net Hospitals: The Need for Sustenance
Safety Net Hospitals: The Need for Sustenance
Safety Net Hospitals provide very important medical services and stand at the core of the American medical system. Formative, the definition of Safety Net Hospital provides a basis for handling this discourse. Within the IOM understanding (Bazzoli, G., Lindrooth, R. C., Kang, R., Hasnain-Wynia, R., P 1165), these are medical institutions that provide important levels of health services to patients who are impecunious and in dire need of the services yet beyond their ability.
Research has shown that the general American public supports the Safety Net Hospitals. The central purpose for the inception of the institutions was to serve two central objects (Cordasco, K M., Asch, S., Franco, I., Mangione, C. M, P 37). From the first perspective the hospital has sufficient resources that are meant to be used in serving the medical needs of the indigent persons. Secondly, the wider population of the community received medical care from within the precincts of the Safety Net Hospitals.
Clearly, the Safety Net hospitals lies at the epicenter of the medical needs of the destitute persons and try to act as a balancing point for those who are not able to access Medicare from the alternative medical institutions (Bazzoli, G., Lindrooth, R. C., Kang, R., Hasnain-Wynia, R., P1156). Besides, not all the citizens are capable of paying their medical insurances.
The existences of the Safety Net Hospitals therefore serve these very persons who have similar medical needs yet are medically uninsured. Research done in the urban centers showed that the existence of the facilities was supported across the divide; age, income, gender and political parties. This shows that though the services were not enjoyed by all, their utility was felt across the board.
Society will always have income inequalities. These inequalities provide sufficient reason for which the sustenance of the Safety Net Hospitals in mandatory for the political class and the community (Hadley, J., Cunningham, P., P 1542). The publics plea to have the congress support the sustenance of the facilities was therefore not in vein. At every cost, given the cardinal role the Safety Net Hospitals play, they should be protected from any attempts for closure.
The implications for the closure of the Safety Net Hospitals are enormous. Clearly, given that a larger segment of society relies of on them for incidental Medicare. The facilities have sufficient support from the market; both the direct consumers and indirect consumers of the services. Perhaps one that any mortal will never want to perceive is the fact that perhaps American mortality rates will increase.
The government may equally be required to chip in to ensure that the insurance policy for the poor are subsidized to have them acquire such incidental medical insurance cover (Young, D., p 1940). While the closure would have formatively intended to serve the purpose of cutting on the expenditure by the government, the expenditure might just go up slightly through the subsidy. Clearly, whether the use of the Safety Net Hospitals then is low, the government does not necessarily need to have them closed, rather they may just be needed some other occasion (p Hadley, J., Cunningham, P., p 1532).
In addition, while the government subsidy will facilitate the insurance of the indigent persons, the access of the services would be tempered given that the general demand for the services from the covered institutions would increase (Sullivan, A., Barron, C., Bezmen, J., Rivera, J., Zapata-Vega, M., P 67). However, for those who live far below the poverty line, the receipt of the services will be untenable because some may not even raise the consultation fees.
The closing of the outlet Safety Net Hospital in Washington, for example, provides a basis for making any decision geared towards the abolition of Safety Net units. Clearly, the private hospitals have become overburdened lending the institutions to possible diseconomies of scale. This presents a sorry state particularly when dealing with the health of humans. The emergence department in Washington has become very overcrowded.
Besides, it needs to be appreciated that a larger number of the services provided by the Safety Net Hospitals are high cost, yet quite unprofitable (Lindrooth, R. C., Bazzoli, G., Needleman, J., Hasnain-Wynia, 712). This implies that leaving the delivery of the services in the private sector, which is largely profit-oriented, is detrimental. In the long run, quality service delivery will be compromised, making the government to appear as abdicating its responsibilities.
There is sufficient evidence that when Safety Net providers are left to provide singular services, there would always be a service provision gap (Radcliff, T. A., Côté, M. J., Duncan, R. P., p 21). Hence, if the facilities are closed altogether, the pressure on the other facilities would be immense. Within the mandate of this argument, the closure of any Safety Net facility will see medical services get severely affected.
Whether the closure of the Safety Net in part or in full is what is being contemplated, the move is not justifiable. The service delivery to the market from either section will not be matched (Cunningham, P. J., Hadley, J., Kenney, G., Davidoff, J., P 267). Whatever the case, the market preference will always be inclined to one of service sectors: private or safety net hospitals.
The economic recession has had its fair share toward the performance and the life of the safety net hospitals. The recession saw the budget towards the same end go down by a sum of 4.3 billions. The cutting down of the budget directly affects the service delivery of the safety net hospitals (Bazzoli, G., Lindrooth, R. C., Kang, R., Hasnain-Wynia, R., P 1048). However, the role the facilities play in the society gives them overboard leverage for survival; hence cutting their budget support down is a misnomer and is misplaced.
In conclusion, supplementary services and complementary services provided by the Safety Net Hospitals is so tidal that an attempt to close them down means utter disregard for the health needs of the impecunious in society (Larrison Jr., Robert G., p 202). By any standards, the move should be addressing the best way of making their service delivery prospects better. The long run analysis of their impending closure vis-à-vis sustainability gives the facilities due leverage.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 22 September 2016
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