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I have included a link below to an editorial written about the top five ethical issues facing the health care industry in the future. In terms of health care managers, I feel that the two biggest of these are looming shortages of health care professionals and finding a way to maintain a high quality of health care in the future marketplace.
The shortage issue is twofold. First, the baby boomer generation is just now reaching retirement age and over the next 20 years or so, the percentage of the US population that is elderly will be increasing. Since this age group tends to need more healthcare on average than other age groups, this will require additional health care personnel in the future. The number of medical schools and nursing programs in the US, however, is not increasing, nor are the existing ones generally growing their enrollments. In addition, health care salaries are not rising at the same pace as they did in the past but the costs of maintaining a health care business are continually rising, thus potentially attracting fewer people into this fast paced and demanding field. All of this will make it more difficult for health care managers to be able to meet the medical needs of their populations in the future.
The other issue is balancing quality with quantity and speed. As more of the population becomes elderly, and as a growing national population gains access to health care, more and more people will be accessing the current health care system. In addition, insurance companies and government programs like Medicare and Medicaid are continually trying to drive down payments that health care providers and companies receive. Both of these factors will push existing health care providers to try to see more patients over the course of time, thus spending less time with each patient and possibly leading to a generally lower quality of care. This is the classic quality versus quantity argument. Health care managers will need to find a way to maintain a high quality of care for an expanding patient base using a limited amount of resources.
The proper MLA format for citing the website is as follows:
Larson, Jennifer. "Top Five Ethical Issues in Healthcare." Healthcare News. AMN Healthcare, 6 March 2013. 4 December 2013.
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