EDUS 660 #3: Health Care-looking for silver bullets in the endless debate

Topic:  Health reform is a national policy issue that has been getting a significant amount of attention.  One of the biggest factors driving the need for health reform is the rising cost of health care.  If you were to create a research model about what contributes the most to the rising cost of health care, what variables (concepts) would you want to explore and how might you go about doing this.

I feel this way on many ocassions.
I feel this way on many occasions.

What contributes to the rising cost of health care seems rather complex. It does not take a scientist to know that the equipment necessary to perform even the most basic of health care procedures is complex and expensive. The Hastings Center, a nonpartisan research institution, highlights several key points relating to health care and medical technology on the front page of their website.

They submit that there are four problems for health care reform in this video clip.  This section is 8 minutes in length-

Source:  thehastingscenter.org

http://library.fora.tv/2015/05/15/The_Moral_Foundations_of_Health_Insurance

  1. Cost
  2. Access to Care
  3. Outcomes
  4. Quality of Care

In my second blog, the idea that new knowledge would replace old knowledge as advances in technology occurs daily. When considering how much health care is spent in the United States, I found an interesting app to enlighten me to the trends, components of spending by states and by the federal system.

Source:  http://thecostapp.ahip.org
Source: http://thecostapp.ahip.org

The charts, buttons, and even the sources provide an interesting way to begin looking at health care spending as a novice. For example, American’s Health Insurance Plans indicates the different hospital prices by a state for specific procedures.  Heart failure costs appear to be highest in California and New Jersey. In fact, when I click on each of the illness indicated, I notice that these two states appear to be more costly than others are.  The sources section provides codes and links for Medicare & Medicaid Services websites.  America’s Health Insurance Plan, AHIP, sponsors the App which provides these statistics. https://www.ahip.org/

The unsettling aspect of using a source such as this one is the lack of peer-reviewed resources necessary to provide credibility for the data. Viewers have no idea who really owns and operates this website as well as who provides the funding to portray the information in this manner.

Based on the readings from the first two weeks of this course, I would assume that one of the first places to look for contributions of the rising cost of health care would be to do a literature search and review as opposed to a “Google” search. What are those in the field experiencing and reporting?  Where is there an abundance of research and where is there a lack of research?  Knowing what researchers have done would provide support for further study.

How the high cost of health care impacts those within the society would engage my interest as a social scientist. When Babbie suggests that social science is linked to social life, he reminds me that “Social Researchers study things that matter to people-things that people have firm, personal feelings about and that affect their lives” (Babbie, 2015: 63). So indirectly, the high cost of health care is a social concern.  The ability to receive quality care affects individuals in all lifestyles. The four problems identified by the Hastings Center would provide concepts for me to consider if proposing research to explore the topic of the rising cost of health care.  Of personal interest to me, would be the concept of Quality of Care. Relationships and human experience are important considerations for me when considering an effective a health program for myself.

  • Which procedure or care would enhance your life right now? 
  • Which factors are preventing you from obtaining it?   

Babbie, E. (2015). The practice of social research. Cengage Learning.

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