NEEDED BY 11/18/2017 Select one area of health policy and describe the impact that policy formation places on direct patient care delivery. What component of the policy area you selected could be improved to provide better care or patient outcomes, and how? – Use at least  2 APA REFERENCES  – Answer questions straight to the point – PLEASE NOTE NO COVER PAGE IS NEEDED THIS IS JUST A DISCUSSION QUESTION AND NO RUNNING HEAD NEEDED

Impact of Policy Formation on Direct Patient Care Delivery


Health policies play a critical role in shaping the healthcare system and determining the nature of care provided to patients. Policy formation is a dynamic process that involves various stakeholders, including policymakers, healthcare providers, and patients. The formulation of health policies directly affects the delivery of care to patients, as it sets standards, establishes guidelines and regulations, allocates resources, and influences healthcare practices. This paper will analyze the impact of policy formation on direct patient care delivery, specifically focusing on the policy area of Medicare reimbursement. Additionally, it will identify an aspect of this policy area that could be improved to enhance patient outcomes.

Impact of Policy Formation on Direct Patient Care Delivery

Policy formation has a profound impact on direct patient care delivery. In the case of Medicare reimbursement policy, for example, the policy directly influences the accessibility and affordability of healthcare services for eligible patients. Medicare is a federal health insurance program that primarily covers individuals aged 65 and older, as well as certain younger individuals with disabilities (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2021). Medicare reimbursement policies dictate the rates at which healthcare providers are paid for services rendered to Medicare beneficiaries, including physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals.

One significant impact of Medicare reimbursement policies is the financial constraint it places on providers. Medicare reimbursement rates are set by the government and are often lower than the rates paid by private insurers. As a result, healthcare providers may face financial challenges in covering their costs while delivering quality care to Medicare patients. The financial strain can lead to a reduction in available resources, longer waiting times for appointments, limited access to specialized care, and a decline in the quality of care provided. These factors directly affect patient outcomes and satisfaction with the healthcare services received.

Moreover, policy formation in Medicare reimbursement also influences healthcare practices. Policy regulations, such as those related to documentation, coding, and billing, impact the workflow and decision-making processes of healthcare providers. Strict guidelines and documentation requirements, aimed at preventing fraud and abuse, may increase administrative burden and reduce the time healthcare providers spend on direct patient care. This administrative burden can divert resources and attention away from patient care, which may negatively affect the quality and efficiency of care provided.

Improving Medicare Reimbursement Policy for Better Care and Patient Outcomes

To provide better care and patient outcomes, there are areas within Medicare reimbursement policy that could be improved. One aspect that could be targeted for improvement is the payment mechanism for primary care services. Currently, Medicare reimburses primary care providers at lower rates compared to specialist providers, which creates an imbalance in payment incentives. This policy discrepancy poses a significant challenge in ensuring an adequate supply of primary care providers, as they may opt for specialties that offer higher pay.

By increasing the reimbursement rates for primary care services under Medicare, policymakers can incentivize more healthcare providers to enter and remain in primary care practice. This change would promote comprehensive and coordinated care, as primary care providers play a vital role in preventive care, chronic disease management, and early detection of health conditions. Improved reimbursement rates would enable primary care providers to invest more time and resources in patient care, leading to better healthcare outcomes, reduced hospitalization rates, and improved patient satisfaction.

Furthermore, policy formation could also incorporate value-based payment models to improve patient outcomes. Value-based payment models focus on rewarding healthcare providers based on the quality and efficiency of care rather than the volume of services provided. By aligning reimbursement with patient outcomes and healthcare quality measures, policymakers can encourage healthcare providers to deliver high-value care and prioritize preventive strategies. These models can also foster collaboration among healthcare providers, promote care coordination, and reduce fragmentation within the healthcare system. The implementation of value-based payment models can result in improved patient outcomes, reduced healthcare costs, and increased overall efficiency in direct patient care delivery.

In conclusion, policy formation has a significant impact on direct patient care delivery. In the case of Medicare reimbursement, policies directly influence accessibility, affordability, and quality of care for eligible beneficiaries. The financial constraints and administrative burden imposed by reimbursement policies can negatively affect patient outcomes and healthcare practices. To improve care and patient outcomes, policymakers should consider increasing reimbursement rates for primary care services and incorporating value-based payment models into policy formation. These efforts would incentivize primary care providers and promote high-value care, leading to better patient outcomes and a more efficient healthcare system.