Evaluating the Cost of Care Essay
Assignment ID Number AFFGEHU83939HD Type of Document Essay Writing Format APA/MLA/Harvard Academic Level Masters/University References/Sources 4 References
Evaluating the Cost of Care Essay
Ch. 7 Evaluating the Cost of Care
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
Identify the factors that determine the true cost of care.
Identify the direct and indirect costs of health care.
Examine the concept of cost-benefit analysis related to the evaluation of a health care program.
Examine the concept of cost-effectiveness analysis related to the evaluation of a health care program.
Recognize programs that pass and fail cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis.
Apply cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis to health care programs.
Comparing data across studies and across organizations and programs is difficult because each one measures information differently. For example, one medical provider might measure services by the number of patients seen, whereas another might measure each billable procedure regardless of the number of patients seen. How do we determine which organization best uses its resources?
First, we must determine what the true cost of care is. For this, we need information on the cost of supplies per service, the cost of physicians and staff needed for a procedure, and the facility’s cost per procedure. Once this data is tallied to find a total cost of care, the data must be analyzed to determine whether the money and resources were well spent. By doing so, decision makers can make informed selections regarding which services to continue and which ones to revise or discontinue.
Throughout this text, various statistics have been presented and discussed. For example, in Chapter 6, you read that “Many women with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level report not seeking health care due to an inability to take off work during clinic hours.” Statistical data is gathered through various resources, one of which might be the electronic health records mentioned in previous chapters. Do you think that true costs can be better evaluated with this tool?
7.1 Totaling the Cost of Care
Courtesy of Comstock/Thinkstock
The cost of caring for a medical condition includes the expense of tangible materials, as well as more abstract expenses caused by diminished productivity at work, taking sick days, and so forth.
There are both measurable and abstract costs associated with any medical condition. Measurable costs are the direct costs of treatment, including the price of
pharmaceuticals and materials, such as bandages and sutures, as well as the salaries of nurses, physicians, and pharmacists. Direct costs can be measured by totaling the
financial prices of all of the resources used to treat a patient. To a provider of a service, these include costs related to property, plant, and equipment. These costs are
typically called “overhead costs,” and the cost of direct care is typically inflated to include these costs. If it is tangible, it is a direct cost.
Indirect costs are more abstract. The indirect costs of an illness, for example, include lost work hours, reduced productivity, and reduced family involvement and civil
involvement. For a patient with a mental condition, fees paid to a psychiatrist are a direct cost; reduced work productivity due to taking time off to see the psychiatrist is an
indirect cost. Both direct and indirect costs must be weighed when determining resource allocation to care for vulnerable populations.
Vulnerable Mothers and Children
The United States experienced a record-breaking birthrate in 2007 of 4,316,233 total births. The slight economic surge in 2006 and 2007, which preceded the Great Recession
of 2008 and allayed fears over an impending recession, is a contributing factor to 2007’s elevated birthrate, as people are more comfortable growing their families during
times of economic surplus. The U.S. population also reached an all-time high of 300 million people in late 2006, and the enlarged population added to the following inflated
birthrate. The 2007 baby boom was followed by a steady decline in 2008 and 2009, partially due to the Great Recession that began in late 2008. The birthrate declined 4%
from 2007 to 4,131,019 total births in 2009 (Sutton, Hamilton, & Mathews, 2011). The live birthrate further declined 3% from 2009 to 4,000,279 in 2010 (Hamilton, Martin, &
The good news is that the numbers of births to teen mothers and preterm births also declined between 2007 and 2010. The birthrate to females ages 15–19 fell from 42.5
births per 1,000 women in that age group in 2007 to 39.1 births per 1,000 women in that age group in 2009 (Sutton et al., 2011). While the preterm birthrate rose 20% from
1990 to 2006, this upward trend reversed in 2007. The preterm birthrate for 2006 was 12.8% of all live births; the rate fell to 12.7% in 2007, and again to 12.3% in 2008 (Martin,
Osterman, & Sutton, 2010). This decline is important, as preterm babies, low birth weight babies, and babies born to teen mothers incur higher maternity, neonatal (just-born,
generally considered to be the first day or two after birth), and postnatal (infancy after the first few days postdelivery) medical costs than babies born at full gestation, at
healthy birth weights, and to more mature mothers.
In terms of direct costs, newborns with no medical complications such as prematurity or low birth weight have an average postnatal care cost of $4,551 as of the year 2007.
The average cost of care for newborns with complications other than prematurity and low birth weight is $10,273. The cost rises significantly to $49,033 for premature and
low birth weight babies. Of these costs, health insurers pay the bulk. Figure 7.1 illustrates the payment breakdown of expenses (March of Dimes, 2008).
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. 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Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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