Health Care Delivery
Medicare is a type of social insurance program that is run by the government. Medicare provides health insurance cover to people aged 65 years. It also offers health insurance to people who meet various criteria. The Medicare program also funds residency training programs in the country. The Medicare health insurance program has different parts. Part A provides hospital insurance to people. Part A provides cover for inpatient hospital stays like food, doctors fee etc. Part B provides medical insurance to people. Part B caters for services and products that are not covered in part A. For instance, it caters for outpatient services.
Part D is aimed at covering prescription drugs. Part C enables people get benefits listed in part A, B and D. The Medicare program is different from Medicaid. Medicaid aid is meant to provide health services to people and families which have low income and resources. On the other hand, the Medicare program does not target low income families and people, but elderly people aged 65 years (Peltz, 2007).The Medicare system has changed greatly to accommodate the changing needs of the society. The needs of the society are changing greatly. For instance, the number of people needing health insurance has increased. This is because of the high cost of health care.
Also, most people need quality and timely care. The Medicare program has developed its plan to accommodate the needs of the society. In 1983, the Medicare program started to provide cover for inpatients. This made it easy for patients to meet their in patient bills. In 1997, Medicare system changed its programs to allow the “Medicare+ choice program” implemented in part A. The program allows beneficiaries to register in private health maintenance facilities that have contracted with Medicare. This has reduced the cost of health care in the society as many people are able to get benefits offered in Part A of Medicare plan easily (Peltz, 2007).
In order to meet the needs of the society, Medicare changed its programs. This is after the enaction of the “Medicare prescription drug, improvement and modernization act” by the congress. The act changed Part C of the health program from “medicare+choice program” to “Medicare Advantage”. The Medicare advantage program has enabled patients to get medical services from any hospital or doctor that is near. This has helped improve accessibility of health care services. The advantage program has helped both minority groups and majority groups in the country access quality and timely care.
In 2006, Medicare incorporated the “Prescription Drug plan” in its program. The program covers various drugs. The coverage of drugs in the new plan is not standardized like in the previous plan. This has given people an opportunity to choose which drug to cover.The enaction of the “Medicare improvement for patients and providers act” in 2008 helped change various programs in Medicare. The Medicare changed its programs to extend its services to people having low income and rural providers. This has helped improve patient care (Peltz, 2007).
The health care reforms programs in the country might have negative impact on Medicare and Medicaid. First, the health care reforms in the country might affect the provision of services to beneficiaries. The government has planned to reduce the amount of funds it spends on Medicare and Medicaid. The increase in health care costs is linked to increase in Medicare and Medicaid spending. Reducing the funding might affect provision of services. The government has encouraged various reforms to improve patient care like quality and safety. Medicare and Medicaid are required to change their programs to adhere to the requirements of the reforms (Peltz, 2007).
Peltz,C.M.(2007).Medicare and Medicaid: critical issues and developments. Nova Science Publishers