The American Healthcare Museum

The United States health care system did not always exist and before 1920, most people did not have health care treatment. In order to understand our current healthcare system you need to know about the history of healthcare, how it started, and its evolution. In my research, you will learn about the history of and present usage of the American Medical Association, hospitals, nurses, Medicare/Medicaid, and the HMO Act of 1973.

Exhibit A: The American Medical Association

The American Medical Association (AMA) came about to make sure that traditional medicine and scientific concepts was used in colleges that deemed themselves as medical schools (Encyclopedia, 2001). A group of doctors who were a part of different local and state associations formed the AMA. They thought that medical education was not keeping up on a national level, that there were no consistent curriculums, and that medicine was not about healing arts associated with mystic beliefs (Encyclopedia, 2001). Since its start, the AMA has closed huge gaps in how medical students are taught and how healthcare is delivered (Lazarus, J. 2013).

I believe that the AMA should be a part of my museum because without the AMA science would not have been applied to healthcare and without those sciences how would we have developed in the knowledge of healthcare today? The AMA is committed to helping physicians navigate and thrive in healthcare transformations with the “one size doesn’t fit all” motto. They want all doctors to be prepared and able to sustain professional satisfaction for themselves, which will optimistically lead to better health outcomes for all patients (Lazarus, J. 2013).

Exhibit B: Hospitals

Hospitals are used to help in the aid of health care and illnesses. In early history people who were sick was often taken care of in the home by family, friends, and neighbors. These people usually had healing practices that was used to help an individual. They were often set up in more populated areas with the thoughts of serving individuals that could not provide their own care. This lasted until the early 1900s (Whelan, J. 2013). Thought of as healing centers; their specialties can range from acute care to research. Hospitals have broadened their outlook compared to 100 years ago. While trying to provide premium care they are also trying to give their service at a cost effective rate and exceed goals already put in place (Rakim, A. n.d.).

Today, hospitals are putting in place the wellness model by stretching beyond healing health care to preventative (Rakim, A. n.d.). I include hospitals into my museum because they are institutions that help lead the way in healthcare today they will forever implement the ever-changing healthcare of today in their services by offering education and up to date technology. The role of hospitals in healthcare today has grown, becoming extremely medicalized and technological locations of healing and research. Hospitals are essential to the delivery of medical and surgical care holding their place in the communities where they serve (Science Museum, n.d.).

Exhibit C: Nursing

When hospitals came, about they needed people to care for the sick; they were called Caregivers then; today they are known as nurses (Whelan, J. 2013). They were needed to give thoughtful care to the ill. In the beginning, nursing differed it was religion based and the quality of care varied ranging from good to messy to poor. Once physicians started recognizing the importance of nurses they started offering courses for people interested in nursing. A six month program was initiated in Pennsylvania; they graduated their first class in 1869 (Whelan, J. 2013).

As the 21st century continues nurses still face many challenges, especially with shortages, the solution of maintaining a adequate number of nurses still remains elusive; along with the demands of healthcare today, nursing professions ability to maintain a higher caliber of care that will meet the contemporary community needs of today is hard. In today’s healthcare nurses are the front line providers of healthcare services. Their skill and expertise reach far beyond hospital walls. Nurses today are critical links in maintain innovative healthcare (Whelan, J. 2013). This is the reason they are a part of my museum; nurses do and will always hold a special place in healthcare history and healthcare today.

Exhibit D: Medicare/Medicaid

Medicare/Medicaid was signed into law in 1965 to help prevent elderly retirees from going bankrupt (Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services, 2013). The bill consisted of three parts: Part A would guarantee that hospitals stays would be paid for. Part B would cover outpatient hospital care with a premium and the third part was Medicaid. Medicaid gave funds to poor individuals who could not afford medication. Since it was implemented no major, changes have been made to the bill with the exception of a fourth part being added known as Part D. It replaced Medicaid paying for medication (Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services, 2013). A significant development in Medicare came with Medicare plus choice, which allows an individual to contract alternative medical institutions.

It has allowed elderly Americans to receive the healthcare they need, but it is breaking the nation as more and more people become eligible for it (Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services, 2013). Senior citizens dominate a lot of health care today and most of them do not have the funds to cover many of those costs. Medicare and Medicaid play a significant role in how and when they will receive the care they need and this is why I felt it should be a part of my museum. With the many changes in healthcare, these two programs will be vital in the delivery of healthcare for the elderly.

Exhibit E: The HMO Act of 1973

Early HMOs were idealistic nonprofit organizations trying to enhance the delivery of healthcare to patient while controlling costs. The HMO Act of 1973 changed that. It made it possible for individuals to contract with doctors for services and compensation. In today’s, healthcare this Act has proven itself time and time again to be a intricate, effective, and efficient development in healthcare. HMOs cut hospital utilization by 20-25 percent compared to most fee for service divisions, the cost of healthcare by 20-30 percent, and all of this is accomplished without compromising the quality of care for its members (Brase, T. 1999). When the government authorized this act, they wanted managed healthcare for everyone, because of it health costs have been reduced, and efficiency increased. I believe that without this act in place health care costs would be astronomical and unattainable by most. This act puts us all on the same playing field when it comes to receiving quality healthcare.

All of these exhibits have helped with the evolvement of healthcare at some point in the United States. These evolutions in healthcare have kept us strong and at the forefront of giving quality care to patients. The system has made employees in healthcare hope for more healing and more optimistic in the fight of preventing illnesses and with their hope, more and more patients are given a sense of comfort in their healthcare. With the implementation of Medicare/Medicaid and the HMO Act patients can feel more at ease in knowing that they will still receive premium care at a cost they can afford. As our healthcare continues to evolve, more and more people will feel secure about receiving healthcare close to home.

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