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Trinity community hospital operates in an environment that is influenced by national trends and policy frameworks. Currently, the hospital aspires to establish elaborate orthopedic, cardiovascular and cancer centers. Opening such centers will imply increased spending on the part of the hospital.
Despite the hospital’s strong strategies and planning, the revenues from the anticipated increase in volumes of patients have not been forthcoming leading to a drop in profit margins. The rationale is that national policies have affected the hospital’s financial performance negatively.
While the self-pay program is yielding marginal revenues for Trinity Community Hospital, there has been a surge in Medicare and Medicaid utilization. Government’s increased involvement in health care has seen the rise of new health care policies.
Ideally, national policies seek to increase health insurance covers to more people, although it is detrimental in the end. This paper discusses the impacts of national trends and policies on the hospital and prescribes a possible legislation.
Impacts of National trends on Trinity Community Hospital
National health policies have changed dramatically over the recent years. The government hopes to increase the number of uninsured individuals by rolling out a policy that has seen public health care providers record increased membership. Medicaid and Medicare health care providers are public-funded and as such, it is hard for private hospitals and health care insurers to compete effectively.
There is a clear negative impact on community hospitals and private health care facilities. Trinity Hospital has had a declining financial performance. In fact, the revenues dropped from $462 million to $ 427 million in a period of two years. Trinity hospital, therefore, contends with the question of reduced revenues.
Reduced revenues have many impacts for Trinity Community Hospital. Chiefly, there is an apparent need for the hospital to open oncology, orthopedic and cardiovascular centers within the community.
Oncology services remain a major concern for the hospital given that the demand for such services is anticipated to increase exponentially in future. Besides, oncology services remain poorly organized in the hospital with only a few cardiologists liaising with the hospital to facilitate the diagnoses and prevention processes.
To establish functional centers, the hospital needs to prioritize on urgently demanded service centers. For orthopedic and cardiovascular services, Regional Hospital and Tertiary Medical Center provide efficient services. Hence, the hospital ought to prioritize on oncology services that are absent or poorly organized in other hospitals.
National trends, therefore, will imply a review of the strategic plan to grapple with diminishing revenues. This is in agreement with David Joint’s perspective that the government has become far too involved in the health care sector at the expense of health facilities.
Second, the hospital’s goal of establishing high-quality centers that provide oncology, orthopedic and cardiovascular services is at risk. Quality service centers imply more medical practitioners and employees.
Nonetheless, the physicians’ returns do not match the heightened costs and as such, Trinity Community Hospital stands to lose a substantial number of already employed members of the staff while putting up with strained ability to hire skilled professionals.
This will, in turn, make the hospital unable to attend to the needs of the hospital. This is not only detrimental for the hospital’s ability to meet its objectives but also lead to a farther reduction in revenues in addition to worsened shortage of medics (Marshall & Rossman, 2009).
Another impact that is embedded in the imminent shortage of physicians is an increase of demand for healthcare services, which at the current situation will not be met. This is not only at Trinity Community hospital but also at the community level.
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Regional Hospital and Tertiary Medical Center will be unable to meet the demands of the patients given the impending shortage of physicians. Therefore, the national objective of increasing provision of health care to numerous people will not be achieved in the long term.
Finally, Trinity Community Hospital may not be able to realize its objectives and goals stipulated in the strategic plan. It is, therefore, critical to review the strategic plan to match the current trends.
This would, in turn, insinuate a delayed realization of the hospital’s goals to provide health care services that are high of quality while at the same time complying with the national policies and trends that have made the services inaccessible contrary of the objectives of the national policies.
Possible Solution and Legislation
There are numerous impacts that will ensue after the legislators and policymakers allow a policy that reduces physicians’ payments to guide health care facilities. To arrive at a solution and a possible framework that will see the attainment of both the government and hospital’s objectives, there is the need to explore alternatives.
At the outset, it is apparent that the government would like to see the number of people without health covers reduce significantly. The policy reflects a short-term antidote for an entrenched problem.
Joint and Holland are right in their assertion that there is a need for Trinity Community Hospital to be proactive in the activities of Hospital Political Action Committee that will propose a feedback to the legislators as well as the national policymakers.
Primarily, working closely with the Committee will enhance lobbying. According to Krugman & Wells (2006), a strong body that addresses the issues and impacts surrounding the current policies and national trends will have a better chance of convincing the policymakers than when Trinity confronts the policymakers as a single organization.
The committee will also allow the members to address pertinent issues and explore alternatives for the policies (Krugman & Wells, 2006).
For Trinity Community Hospital, alternatives that it will present to the committee include the following, although they are not limited to the Board’s opinion. First, it is important for the national legislators to appreciate that the current policies are inadequate to address the issues of rising demand for specific health services.
Evidently, oncology and cancer services are not meeting the current demand of patients in the hospitals located within the community. Coupled with the fact that the government legislations seek to reduce physicians’ payments, the demand is poised to increase in the long term.
As such, policies that address the issue of access to quality services for specific medical areas as orthopedic, oncology and cardiovascular could be the starting point during the feedback presentation.
Besides, it is important to articulate the rising shortage for physicians in different sectors through the Hospital Political Action Committee.
For oncology services, Trinity Community Hospital alongside other hospitals, is yet to establish functional centers that provide cancer services to the members of the community partly because of the apparent shortage of medical professionals in the area. To that end, the policymakers will have to understand the glaring crises that may typify health care system in future.
Subsequently, a possible legislation ought to prioritize on the areas that need staffing. While some health care services are readily available to the community, others remain elusive and it is upon the government to introduce a special category of physicians whose payments will be forthcoming.
This does not only allure more people to join medical schools to pursue professions whose services are needed but also increase the ability for the hospital to retain current medics and provide improved health care services.
Further, Trinity Hospital will use this platform to explicate that the numbers of uninsured patients continue to rise. Although Medicaid and Medicare constitute substantial percentage of health care insurance, increasing numbers of people have no medical covers and insurance to access health care in the community.
An alternative policy ought to focus on reducing the number of uninsured members of the community while also ensuring that they prioritize on areas whose demand for services is high.
Finally, the legislators ought to enhance a more comprehensive policy that addresses prevention healthcare as opposed to curative care.
In line with Trinity Hospital’s objectives of embarking on community outreaches and sensitization to the members of the community, the policies ought to give priority to prevention programs that will not only reduce demand for health care services but also facilitate reduction of the current workload amongst physicians.
It should be made a policy for members of the community to access basic information regarding orthopedic, cardiovascular and oncology services. Besides, the policy should be driven by a campaign to improve people’s lifestyles and elucidate on dangers that are associated with specific lifestyles.
This way, the hospital will reduce the anticipated numbers of patients seeking health care services and live within its objectives of providing quality healthcare services for patients given that their numbers will drop substantially.
In sum, it is important for the entire team at Trinity Community Hospital to appreciate the effects that national trends and policies will have on the hospital’s plans and projections. First, the policies will lead to a farther reduction in the revenues of the hospital.
The revenue margin has reduced substantially in a period of two years. With such a decline in annual revenues, Trinity Community Hospital grapples with the need to establish orthopedic, cardiovascular and oncology centers which will be affected by diminishing revenues.
Besides, legislation that seek to withdraw payments from physicians will lead to a sharp shortage of physician across the entire country. This is notwithstanding the growing demand for oncology services in particular. This is bearing in mind that, hospitals like Trinity Community Hospital are yet to organize their respective cancer departments.
To address these issues, Trinity hospital ought to liaise with Hospital Political Action Committee that will increase the organization’s ability to lobby the legislators (Marshall & Rossman, 2009). It is through the committee that Trinity Community hospital will be able to explicate the impacts of the policies.
Besides, the committee will be able articulate the review of such policies to benefit the entire community. The amendments in the current policies will also focus on the need for more improved prevention care programs. This will go a long way in reducing the current unmet demand for services in the community.
Marshall, C. & Rossman, B. (2009). Healthcare Policies and Long-Term Impacts. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.