The purpose of this paper is to present a healthcare advocacy plan that addresses my research findings on three healthcare issues facing the state of California: access to care, cost of care, and quality of care. I will first provide a summary of my findings and propose a plan for how these issues can be addressed.
Summary Of Findings
Many residents in California lack access to high-quality healthcare. The high cost of health insurance, the state’s refusal to expand Medicaid, and many Californians residing in rural locations with sparse access to medical care are all contributing causes. Many Californians find it difficult to access high-quality health care due to the high cost of health insurance. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average monthly price of health insurance in California is $574 for an individual and $1,552 for a family of four. Many Californians cannot afford this amount, especially if they also have to pay for their housing, food, and other essentials(McConville, 2021; National Academies of Sciences, 2018).
Another obstacle to high-quality health care is California’s refusal to expand Medicaid. A government-funded health insurance program called Medicaid is available to low-income individuals and families. In California, a single person must make less than $16,754 annually to be eligible for Medicaid. Contrary to other states, California has not extended Medicaid to include all low-income citizens. This implies that many low-income Californians lack access to high-quality health care. Furthermore, many Californians reside in rural areas with a shortage of healthcare professionals. This is particularly true in the Central Valley, where there are few hospitals and clinics (McConville, 2021; National Academies of Sciences, 2018). For rural Californians, this lack of access to health care can be a significant impediment to receiving high-quality medical treatment.
The cost of health care in California is among the highest in the nation. This is because California has a high cost of living, few healthcare providers compete with one another, and many residents lack insurance, forcing them to pay for their medical expenses (Melnick et al., 2018).
The quality of health care in California is variable. in certain parts of the state, the quality of health care is good, but not in others (National Academies of Sciences, 2018; WHO, 2018). Numerous reasons contribute to this, including the unequal distribution of healthcare resources, the absence of regulations governing healthcare professionals, and the fact that a large portion of Californians resides in rural areas with a shortage of healthcare professionals.
There are several ways to address the issues of access, cost, and quality of health care in California. I will propose four specific methods:
Expanding Medicaid eligibility
Increasing the state’s Medicaid eligibility is one strategy to improve access to care. More Californians would have access to health insurance, as a result, improving healthcare accessibility. Giving Californians without health insurance financial support is another way to enhance care access. Subsidies or tax credits may be used for this. Finally, the state needs to hire additional healthcare professionals to work in rural areas (McConville, 2021; Melnick et al., 2018; National Academies of Sciences, 2018; WHO, 2018). Offering financial incentives like loan forgiveness programs might accomplish this.
Decreasing The Cost Of Care
Increasing competition among healthcare providers is one strategy to lower the cost of care. This might be accomplished in various ways, including allowing patients to select their own doctors, broadening the sorts of providers permitted to operate in the state, and allowing out-of-state providers to compete for contracts. Increasing price transparency is one more strategy to reduce the cost of care (McConville, 2021; Melnick et al., 2018; National Academies of Sciences, 2018; WHO, 2018). Patients could then compare costs amongst service providers and decide on their course of care with more knowledge. Last but not least, the state might offer financial support to medical professionals who consent to accept lesser compensation from insurance companies.
Improving The Quality Of Care
Increased regulation of healthcare providers is one strategy to raise the standard of treatment. This might be achieved by raising the frequency of inspections of healthcare institutions, requiring all providers to hold certification from a national accreditation body, or stiffening the sanctions for those who do so. Increasing the openness of quality data is another strategy to raise the standard of care (McConville, 2021; Melnick et al., 2018; National Academies of Sciences, 2018; WHO, 2018). Patients would then be able to assess the level of care offered by various providers and decide on the best course of treatment for themselves. Lastly, the state might offer cash rewards to medical professionals who achieve or surpass quality criteria.
Improving The Distribution Of Healthcare Resources
An excellent strategy to raise the standard of health care is to distribute better the available resources (McConville, 2021; Melnick et al., 2018; National Academies of Sciences, 2018; WHO, 2018). This may be accomplished by expanding access to primary care physicians and financing for health care in rural regions.
The healthcare system in California needs reform. The issues of access, cost, and quality of care need to be addressed to improve the health of all Californians. I have proposed four possible solutions to these issues, and I believe these solutions would go a long way in improving the healthcare system in California.
McConville, S. (2021, May). Health Care Reform in California. Public Policy Institute of California. https://www.ppic.org/publication/health-care-reform-in-california/
Melnick, G. A., Fonkych, K., & Zwanziger, J. (2018). The California Competitive Model: How Has It Fared, And What’s Next? Health Affairs, 37(9), 1417–1424. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2018.0418
National Academies of Sciences. (2018). Factors That Affect Healthcare Utilization. In www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. National Academies Press (US). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK500097/
WHO. (2018). Delivering quality health services A global imperative for universal health coverage. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/272465/9789241513906-eng.pdf