I fully agree with the statement that the healthcare system in the US can be referred to as a “sickness care system” due to its reactive nature. According to Anderlini (2018), every person aged 65 or older has at least two chronic diseases and takes several prescribed medications. The problem is mainly due to the focus on episodic care providing treatment for a patient’s sickness. A paradigm shift from illness treatment to prevention can offer better outcomes for patients in the US.
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The U.S. healthcare system has made significant progress in shifting the priorities from treating sickness to promoting health. The main driving force of the change in the U.S. Preventative Task Force (USPTF, n.d.) that develops recommendations for preventative procedures necessary to avoid adverse conditions. The focus of the organization is to provide evidence-based suggestions for healthcare providers regarding screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications to improve health outcomes. However, the results of the change are insufficient, as experts state that government spending on prevention and health promotion remains low.
The U.S. government spends $3.2 billion a year on health promotion and illness prevention procedures; however, this is only 3.1% of the total spending on healthcare (Anderlini, 2018). Moreover, the studies show insufficient monitoring of public health to realize the existence of the problem before it becomes evident (Anderlini, 2018). Investing more money into research on health promotion, introducing new technologically advanced methods of community health assessment, and healthy lifestyle propagation can be beneficial for improving patient outcomes. In conclusion, while the U.S. healthcare system is in the process of changing its priority from providing acute treatment to health promotion and illness prevention, it still has a long way to go to demonstrate a paradigm shift.
Anderlini, D. (2018). The United States health care system is sick: From Adam Smith to overspecialization. Cureus, 10(5). Web.
U.S. Preventative Task Force. (n.d.). USPSTF A and B recommendations. Web.