Week 3 6050 Discussion

With coinciding concerns about health care costs and the imperative to improve quality of care, health care providers and others face difficult decisions in the effort to achieve an appropriate balance. Such decisions often are addressed in the policy arena. How do policymakers evaluate which health care services should be financed through government programs? How do ethics-related questions and other considerations play into this evaluation process? Is it possible to contain costs and provide accessible, high-quality care to all, or is the tension between cost and care inherent in the U.S. health care delivery system? These questions are central to health care financing decisions in the United States.

For this Discussion, you will focus on the policy decision-making process that determines what types of care are covered by public and private insurers and the ethical aspects of such financial decisions.

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To prepare:

  • Read the the case study “Economic Impact of States Declining Medicaid Expansion”  page 305 of the Milstead text.
  • Review the information in the Washington Post article “Review of Prostate Cancer Drugs Provenge Renews Medical Cost-Benefit Debate” in the Learning Resources.
  • Consider how policy decisions currently are made about what will and will not be paid for and what changes, if any, could improve the process.
  • Reflect on how the Washington Post example illustrates the tension between cost and care.

Post your analysis and assessment of the ethical and economic challenges related to policy decisions such as those presented in the Washington Post article. How does this type of situation contribute to the tension between cost and care? Substantiate your response with at least two outside resources.

Washington Post article:

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/07/AR2010110705205.html

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