Health care Utilization Essay Example
Health care Utilization Essay Example

Health care Utilization Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (915 words)
  • Published: July 22, 2016
  • Type: Essay
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John, a Medicaid patient with high blood pressure, is experiencing challenges in accessing healthcare in his area. As a result, he is decreasing his utilization of healthcare services. The primary care provider closest to him necessitates a 40-minute commute and appointments must be scheduled two weeks ahead. According to the healthcare utilization model, primary care physicians have the responsibility for preventive care. However, due to John's existing hypertension condition, he is unable to prioritize future preventative care.

His current ongoing condition is one of the factors working against him. Another factor that is affecting John’s ability to find a primary care physician is the shortage of medical students opting for primary care as a specialty. Despite not appearing significant, this shortage actually plays a role. It explains why the provider John wishes to visit has a consist


ently long queue of patients and requires appointments to be scheduled in advance. The healthcare industry's current focus is on specialized practices, which means primary care practitioners earn significantly lower wages compared to specialty physicians.

The disparity in pay is due to the structure of the fee schedule implemented by insurance companies. The compensation received after medical school does not outweigh the debt incurred during education. Family practitioners typically have longer work hours, including being on call and working weekends. In the public healthcare sector, physicians on call and working weekends are usually present for emergencies only. Unfortunately, John's desired primary care physicians do not fall into these categories. This poses an obstacle for him as well.

John's ability to receive healthcare depends on his schedule, which determines if he can visit a

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doctor during the week. However, not having transportation is a significant barrier for him. He is unable to travel to the required locations and living in a rural community further restricts his choices as there is limited public transportation available. The availability of public transportation is only within his immediate living area since most transit systems have limited coverage. Consequently, depending on friends for transportation makes it challenging for him to arrange and attend appointments.

John must check others' schedules to determine when they can assist him, which can potentially lead to treatment delays. Some factors that affect John are changeable, while others are unchangeable. Mutable factors can be modified, whereas immutable factors cannot be altered. Examples of immutable factors for John include heredity, gender, age, and health beliefs. Anderson (1995) states that social structure is also an unchangeable factor in the short term. On the other hand, mutable factors such as lifestyle, income, and habit can be modified. A transportation issue serves as an example of a mutable factor for John.

John faces challenges accessing healthcare due to the extensive travel distance, especially as he lives in a rural area. If he had transportation, it would greatly improve his ability to attend appointments and allow him to schedule them at his convenience. While John's race is not mentioned in the assignment syllabus, it is possible that race could be a non-modifiable factor. The National Center for Health Statistics conducted a study in 2006, as stated in the weekly reading, which suggests that if John belongs to a minority group, he may experience bias.

Studies have shown that minorities often experience poorer

quality of care compared to nonminorities, resulting in unequal treatment even though they have the same insurance benefits. Factors such as knowledge, attitudes, and relationships with healthcare providers can contribute to these disparities. Trust in physicians plays a significant role in patients' decision to seek and receive care (Do, 2010). Unconscious bias also contributes to this disparity, which is influenced by how minorities are portrayed in media and other social settings. Dr.

According to Alexander R. Green, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and the lead author of the study, various factors such as personal experiences, exposure to media, and past observations impact how the brain processes information. Therefore, being perceived as racist does not necessarily reflect one's character but rather stems from these influences (Anderson, 1995). In John's case, his high blood pressure is not necessarily permanent; there are measures he can take to reduce his levels. By adjusting his diet and integrating regular exercise into his daily routine, John has the potential to decrease his reliance on medication.

Research suggests that John can enhance the effectiveness of his blood pressure medication by losing weight. Weight loss has been proven to significantly improve its efficacy. In addition, engaging in at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity can lead to a reduction in blood pressure within a few weeks. Moreover, consuming foods that are low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol can help decrease both systolic and diastolic pressures. This type of diet is referred to as a DASH diet or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (Vann, n. d.). By following these guidelines, John can reduce his health risks and lessen his reliance

on medication.

The fact that John’s father has suffered a heart attack indicates that his high blood pressure is genetic. However, this condition can be monitored and reduced. Genetic conditions are generally considered unchangeable. John is prone to his current condition and needs to make lifestyle adjustments in order to avoid a similar outcome as his father. The obstacles that John encounters significantly decrease his lifespan and quality of life. However, not everything is beyond his control. By managing the controllable risk factors and regularly seeking preventive care, he can alleviate the impact of his current condition.

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