"What Are the Key Approaches to Reforming Medicare and Reducing Its Cost Over the Next Several Years? " is an engrossing example of a paper on the health system. If the health care costs in the US are not kept under control, they will ultimately bankrupt the federal government, state governments, businesses, families, and individuals. The main issue is whether or not we deal with the problem of health care cost increase but how we handle it. The main cause of the issue is the inefficient, expensive, and wasteful ways in which health care is delivered in the country and the best solution is coming up with cost-effective means (McDonough, 2011).
The solution does not lie in shifting medical costs to consumers by making them pay for their own medical costs owing to the fact that expenses are not influenced by consumers. There are various ways discussed in the section below that can be used to reform Medicare and reduce its costs in the future. Medicare is an important approach in handling market concentration. One of the ways in which medical costs can be reduced is by allowing citizens of all ages to buy the alternative to Medicare.
This would to a reduction by approximately 5 to 7 percent for employers and individuals (The Kaiser Family Foundation’ s, 2013). The alternative to Medicare would be a public health insurance option. It would be an important tool for fighting resistance to changes that have been formulated to make health care delivery more effective (McDonough, 2011). This option would go hand in hand with Medicare in facilitating reforms in the health sector. Additionally, the public alternative would be influential for the adoption of important reforms in health care.
‘ Medicare for all’ is thereby one of the most efficient ways of minimizing costs over the next few years. Medicare payment improvements have already started making changes in health care, especially under the Affordable Care Act. These improvements include facilitating the application of integrated medical procedures and paying for value instead of paying for quantity. The second approach to reforming Medicare is by negotiating with employers about health care costs. Americans can no longer wait for implementation of ‘ Medicare for all’ or the public alternative and this explains why unions have been working with employers to come up with ways to reduce health care costs (McDonough, 2011).
The third approach is cost-sharing. When individuals are conscious of their health costs and take responsibility for the rising health care costs, they are in a position to make more rational decisions on whether to seek medical attention. This will lead to a reduction in inflation of health care costs and can make shifts in benefit cuts and price controls. The fourth approach is through addressing the extensive crisis of Medicare fraud.
It is estimated that 8 to 10 percent of the total Medicare spending is directed towards fraudulent spending (McDonough, 2011). The scheme handles over a billion claims annual and it is stipulated by law that these claims should be reimbursed between fifteen and thirty days (McDonough, 2011). This makes it difficult to avoid criminal activity. Private administration of the Medicare program would lead to progress through the introduction of auditing processes. To sum up, Medicare is a transformational program that seeks to reform the health care system that needs to go through the above changes to curb the inflation of medical costs.
All the stakeholders are advised to take part in these changes to transform the health sector in the US.
McDonough, J. E. (2011). Inside national health reform. University of California Press.
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s. (2013, April13). Focus on health reform. Retrieved from www.kff.org