America 's Long Term Fiscal Imbalance

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Health care costs have been a contributor of America’s long-term fiscal imbalance. In 2015, total health care expenditures accounted for 17.8% of the U.S. economy (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, [CMS], n.d.). And of that 17.8%, 50% accounted for government spending. This conflicts with our notion of a predominantly private financing system of health care in the United States (Himmelstein & Woolhandler, 2016; Kolata, 2012). Moreover, two often overlooked tax-funded health expenditures—tax subsidies to health care (10.1% of total spending) and government payments for public employee’s private health insurance coverage (6.4% of total spending)—together, put the U.S. in first place for health care taxes. Yet, many patients are…show more content…
To reduce this burden, coordination between similar administrative tasks, as well the coordination of reporting and enrollment systems, government regulations, and state licensure restrictions are needed to maximize efficiency and reduce redundant tasks impeding with patient care. For instance, enrollment and credentialing processes are tedious and costly, requiring the typical physician to spend more than 3 hours annually submitting nearly 18 different credentialing forms, with staff spending an additional 20 hours (Wikler et al., 2012). Although some private-sector initiatives are working to coordinate these processes, the Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) and the private sector should work to create a more centralized, mandatory provider enrollment and credentialing system via private-public sector initiatives. If employed, physicians could save nearly $1 billion per year (Cutler et al., 2012).
But as noted previously, more is needed than standardizing these processes. Health care providers (physicians and hospitals) should embrace electronic health records (EHRs) and should integrate appropriate information from billing systems with clinical information (the recording and analysis of clinical services) from EHRs (Wikler et al., 2012; Cutler et al., 2012). To address concerns that occur due to accessing medical records, the secretary of health and human services could expand criteria under the Health information Technology for Economic and Clinical
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