What are some barriers and limitations to the transition from one level of care to another?
Many different types of barriers make it difficult for patients to transition to new levels or types of healthcare. Especially as the baby boom generation ages and requires increasing amounts of health care in a variety of settings, it becomes crucial to develop processes to smooth these transitions.
The first barrier is financial. The more intensive the type of care, the more expensive it is. Even if it may be best for patients to move into a more intensively managed form of care, it may not always be financially feasible.
Insurance can be another barrier to transitions. As more patients are enrolled in HMOs and prefer provider plans, they may encounter difficulties in finding new care providers approved by their insurance plans.
Continuity of treatment and sharing of information is another barrier. It is crucial that some form of electronic records be used to share information among different providers. Especially if a single patient is receiving care from multiple sources, it is essential that all records are available to all providers. Follow through is especially important, as well as clear allocation of responsibility, so that crucial elements of treatment don't fall through the cracks in the system.
Finally, the patients themselves may become comfortable with one level of care or a specific provider and be nervous about transitions or reluctant to change levels of care.
A big barrier and limitation is the cost of treatment and care. Some insurance companies offer a certain amount while others offer less, each varies. For this, the amount one can spend is limited. If the person is also under special needy conditions, it is quite difficult to receive better care which is usually more expensive.