Examples of healthcare economics issues
One approach to healthcare economics is the Quintuple Aim philosophy, which has the goals of improving public health; optimizing the care experience; reducing the cost per capita of care; ensuring workforce well-being and safety; and advancing health equity. To accomplish these goals, decision-makers in the health sector must understand the most prominent issues in the industry.
Healthcare costs and value
High costs are pressing issues in American healthcare. Despite the fact that, according to the American Medical Association, the United States allocates more resources to healthcare spending than any other country, Americans experience the worst overall patient outcomes of any high-income nation.
Health economics experts try to address this disparity between cost and quality long-term by examining the factors that contribute to high health-related costs, and identifying ways for institutions, agencies and insurers to reduce the costs influencing healthcare markets without compromising patient outcomes.
To achieve these goals, health economics experts help organizations streamline their operations and develop cost-efficient strategies for healthcare resource allocation, quality improvement, including policy changes and new applications for technology that enable them to deliver more cost-effective services.
Supply and demand for health services
In healthcare, just as in any industry, supply and demand are major determinants of the cost and quality of goods and services. In areas where the demand for healthcare outpaces the supply, costs can increase and those who need it may have difficulty accessing the healthcare services they need, compromising public health.
Health economics experts work to ensure that providers have enough resources to provide adequate services. This may involve helping organizations develop more efficient supply chain management strategies.
Healthcare jobs and education markets
Another important focus of health economics is the market for healthcare jobs and education. Most of these institutions rely on a wide variety of specially trained employees to operate successfully, ranging from doctors to people in entry-level healthcare roles, like lab techs and nursing assistants.
A shortage of any type of skilled labor can put employers in a difficult position and potentially compromise the quality of care patients receive. As such, the availability of trained healthcare professionals may exert a major influence on operational decisions made by institutions and lead to quality-adjusted care.
By looking at potential indicators, like the number of students pursuing healthcare degrees and the rate of employees leaving and entering certain occupations, health economics professionals can help organizations anticipate employment trends across the healthcare system and predict how they will affect industry growth and public health.