Health Care

I have Interview 3 separate individuals representing three generations my parents, my mother in-law, and my husband. First, Health care has various elements. The three main dimensions of healthcare include outpatient care, which deals with medical treatment that does not require hospitalization, inpatient care, which implies hospitalization, intensive care and monitoring, and long term care, which provide to people who need help on a regular basis with their daily activities and medical condition, but do not need the intensive and advanced care that characterizes inpatient care.

A study of the role of inpatient care, its contribution to the overall health care process, and its transitional role, helps demonstrate not only the importance of inpatient care, but the inherent connections and interdependence between each of the dimensions that together comprise integral health care. In the interview with my mother I discovered that their health care coverage is provided by Tricare Prime (C. M. Hawley, telephone interview, September 21, 2012). This is a coverage that is provided for retired military service members who have served their time.

The fee that they must pay in order to receive this coverage is $460. 00 a year. Even though this is a small amount that is being paid in comparison to the general public, this coverage was promised to my father free of charge for the rest of his life and his spouses when he enrolled in the Army. This was the major complaint of the coverage they have. The coverage is available for them across the whole USA and available in select areas around the world. Patients usually visit providers on a military instillation with no fees, but on occasion they are able to see a civilian physician for a fee of $12. 0.

Lastly the praises that were made over the coverage was that Tricare always notified the patient of upcoming appointments that needed to be scheduled, such as mammograms and colonoscopies. Healthcare is comprised of various dimensions. Three of the main elements include inpatient care, outpatient care, and long term care. Each of these has a particular role and function within the healthcare system. In an effective system, the three dimensions coexist and work together to distribute healthcare resources in the best manner for both the patient and the medical organizations.

An in depth look into one of these dimensions – inpatient care – can be used to arrive at a better overall understanding of health care in general, and of the balance and interrelation that must be maintained between all three dimensions. Nature and Role of Inpatient Care As the American Medical Center explains it, inpatient care is available for “patients requiring more intense and elaborate diagnosis and treatment” (Inpatient Care Service, 2007). Basic inpatient care includes critical care, urgent care, hospitalization, overnight monitoring, labor and delivery care, and treatments that require inpatient equipment.

Inpatient treatment in general refers to any form of medical procedure or assistance in which the patient spends a night at the medical center, staying there for twenty-four hours or longer. Inpatient treatment can be further sub-categorized based on its purpose, intensity and duration. Inpatient care can be short term, as is the case when the patient is in the hospital for a couple days. This would be the case after some procedures in which the patient needs to be monitored following the treatment, but does not need long term intensive care.

Inpatient surgeries are frequently an example of such short term inpatient care. Inpatient care can also be long term, when the patient needs ongoing medical assistance. In such cases, the patients can go to a residence where they are able to receive the medical care and monitoring they need 24 hours a day. Some hospitals are set up for long term inpatient care. There are also many other medical care centers that just specialize in inpatient residential care, as patients needing such long term care don’t always need the specialized emergency care the hospital is set up for, but do need regular procedures and assistance.

One of the main differences between inpatient care and outpatient care, other than the overnight stay aspect, lies in the intensiveness of the care needed. If a patient needs inpatient care, it implies that they need constant medical treatment and monitoring. Outpatient treatment is able to help correct illness or medical issues only when the treatment is not needed on a constant basis, enabling the patient to continue doing other things, while taking medicines or returning to see the doctor at the required intervals. Some surgeries, including oral surgeries and many orthopedic surgeries require only outpatient care.

Long term care, differs from inpatient care to the extent that even though resident service is needed, the intensity of the care and monitoring needed is less. Furthermore long term care is based on an ongoing medical condition or state, while inpatient care is in response to a need that arises due to a particular treatment, surgery, procedure, or medical emergency, such as a stroke or heart failure. Long term care often refers to the ongoing residential medical care provided in hospices or nursing homes that provide the elderly or disabled with the help they need in their daily activities or basic health needs.

Inpatient care can cross over with long term care when it involves an extended stay for treatment over conditions that are temporary rather than chronic, but lengthy. Examples would be inpatient care for pain treatment, drug rehabilitation or eating disorders. In an interview conducted with my mother in-law she informed me that their provider was Blue Cross Blue Shield as a dependant under my father in-law (E. R. Daniel, telephone interview, September 21, 2012). The payment method that was arranged is that every month a portion is taken out of my father in-laws paycheck in order to pay for their coverage.

Their coverage only is valid in the state of Texas, so if they were to leave the state such as on vacation they would have to first pay the full cost then do a claim with their insurance to get reimbursed. My mother in-law was very happy with her coverage and feels because her husband is a physician’s assistant; they have always had excellent care. The only complaint she had was since she moved to the United States from India, the cost of medical insurance has increased immensely! Contribution to Overall Healthcare

In terms of resources and finances, inpatient care is the most costly form of healthcare. It not only requires the medical supplies, but basic care supplies such as food, bedding, etc. It requires more practical resources in terms of electricity and other services, as well as more human resources, as the patients require round the clock care and availability. Hospitals and centers providing inpatient care therefore need a minimum of two shifts, and possibly three in order to avoid unnecessary and costly mistakes due to the workers’ exhaustion.

Furthermore, the intense nature of the medical problems and treatments that require inpatient care imply advanced technology, and often expensive medical supplies. As a result, inpatient care accounts for much of the cost required by healthcare. Due to already expensive and rising costs of inpatient care, outpatient care programs have significantly increased in number. This is justifiable in terms of medical procedures and conditions that no longer require overnight care and monitoring due to advances in medicine and other discoveries.

Several procedures, various surgeries, and illnesses such as pneumonia that used to be categorized as requiring inpatient care are now done as outpatient. This is fine, as more effective medications and reliable forms of treatment have shown that these medical problems usually do not require overnight stay. Nevertheless, inpatient care contributes much to the overall health care process, often providing the most advanced and delicate care that could be the difference between life and death, or health and a severe disability or malfunctioning.

As a result, it is important for the healthcare system to continue investing the needed resources into inpatient care based on the value of life and the dignity of the patients who deserve quality care that meets their needs. This does not imply treating all cases as inpatient care cases, but it does require the willingness to invest the needed cost even if risking outpatient care could save money. Healthcare deals with the lives and health of people, and the patient’s life and health is not worth risking for the sake of lower cost.

In an interview with my husband, I discovered that our insurance coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal costs us roughly $600. 00 per month. Because we are currently serving overseas we are paying for all medical expenses first then having to submit a claim to be reimbursed for covered costs (I. J. Daniel, personal interview, September 21, 2012). Overall he has been extremely satisfied with our coverage as we have experienced childbirth abroad and had no issues being reimbursed the charges.

The only complaint that he expressed was that the cost of monthly coverage seemed high for a service that we do not regularly use. Transitions Each of the three dimensions of healthcare – inpatient, outpatient, and long term care can involve transitioning among them. The inpatient care sector can involve transitioning patients in from both outpatient care and long term care, and can likewise transition patients back out to outpatient or long term care, based on the patient’s condition.

If a patient involved in outpatient care reacts in an unexpected manner to the surgery or procedure underwent, it may be necessary for them to receive inpatient care for a period of time to remedy what happened, or just to be monitored in order ensure a state of stability before the patient is released. An example of this could be, for example, if a patient undergoing outpatient surgery has a system failure during the surgery, such as heart or lung failure, and, as a result, should be monitored for at least 24 hours to ensure proper functioning. Even though the surgery was outpatient, such a patient will be transitioned to inpatient care.

A patient receiving long term care will also be transitioned to inpatient care if a sudden worsening of their medical condition, such as a stroke, heart attack, etc. , requires them to receive intensive care and monitoring. When inpatient care goes well and the patient is recovering properly, the patient will be transitioned out of inpatient care. If the patient is returning to an active, regular level of health, he/she will be transitioned to outpatient care, with different medication or therapy programs, and regular checkups until the medical condition has been fully resolved.

If the patient is an elderly or disabled person who will continue to need habitual help with daily activities and medical care, but no longer require the intensive care and monitoring provided by inpatient care, they will be transitioned to long term care.

In conclusion, inpatient care is an integral part of healthcare. It is a costly, but important part of healthcare, as it provides delicate and advanced services that could determine whether a patient lives or not, and the extent to which the patients recover full health.

Inpatient service drains most of the resources of healthcare, but the investment required is worth the effort, as it directly pertains to the life and wellbeing of the patients. Furthermore, in spite of its unique identity, inpatient care must be looked at together with outpatient and long term care, as it is only one stage of the healthcare process and, if effective, will lead to transferring the patient to a less intensive program, such as an outpatient program or, if necessary, long term care.

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