Healthcare globalization focuses on the health problems that affect many countries and people in many different locations around the globe. From noncommunicable diseases that can spread from one place to another, to the effects of climate change and pollution, global health issues involve multiple factors that need to be considered from many different angles. By partnering with organizations on the ground, we can help improve health care around the world.
Health care spending in the U.S.
In comparison to other high-income countries, health care spending in the U.S is much higher than in other developed nations. The cost of surgical procedures, diagnostic tests, and prescription drugs are much higher. In addition, the salaries of physicians and nurses are much higher in the U.S.
Throughout the past 40 years, health care spending has seen significant shifts. Before the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid, ninety-six percent of prescription drug costs came from the consumer’s pocket. Over time, the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic conditions has increased. These factors are causing health care spending in the U.S. to rise at a rapid pace. The federal government, private insurance companies, and other sources of private revenue have contributed to this trend.
Variation in health care spending is an indication that policymakers should take steps to address the issue. The policy response should depend on the causes of the variation. Market failures, differences in physician behavior, and higher cost of living in some areas can all lead to higher spending. Further, insufficient competition is another factor.
Overall, the United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world. In 2017, the country spent $3.5 trillion on health care. Of this, $1.5 trillion was funded by the federal government. This represents a share of the economy equal to eight percent of GDP. As a result, health care spending will continue to rise. This spending will eat up an increasing portion of the federal budget.
Labor costs are a large part of health spending. In 2012, these costs accounted for 49.8% of total health care revenues. Some ways to reduce these costs include expanding the labor supply and reducing the amount of unnecessary services. These measures, combined with improved quality of care, can significantly reduce health care spending.
In contrast, some parts of the country experience higher health care spending than other areas. These differences are not due to disproportionate proportions of elderly people, but are instead a result of the fact that health care costs are higher in some parts of the country.
Impact of global budgets on access to care
Global budgets for health care are important for several reasons. First, they help control total health spending and ensure that everyone has access to reasonably priced health services. Second, global budgets allow information systems to measure spending, monitor performance, and signal when corrective actions are needed. Third, global budgets must be flexible enough to evolve with changing needs over time.
Global budgets are also important because they help hospitals account for the cost of care they provide. These budgets have the advantage of requiring minimal regulatory complexity and can help hospitals allocate resources in a more efficient manner. This will increase patient safety and quality, while reducing costs. They will also help hospitals respond to changing community health needs more effectively.
A major downside of global hospital budgets is that they often result in long wait times. The program was originally intended to help rural hospitals, but the reality is much different. Most global hospital budget programs do not prevent small rural hospitals from closing. In Maryland, for example, one study found that the state’s smallest rural hospital would close by 2020 despite being in a global budget system.
Global budgets are not yet widely available in healthcare markets, but some states have already adopted them. In Maryland, for example, the state’s healthcare system is operated under an all-payers global budget program. The program reimburses hospitals for all services they provide within a year.
Governments use global budgets to control spending. They calculate overall compensation for a region based on the number of people insured, average number of visits, and consultation costs per visit. The government uses this data to control budget usage and overexpenses sharing. This reform is expected to improve the quality of public health services.
Another benefit of global budgets is that they help hospitals adapt to changing healthcare needs. Because population health needs change quickly, hospitals that are on global budget payment models have more financial flexibility. This means that they can better redeploy resources and still keep fixed revenue.
Importance of partnering with “local” organizations to achieve global health goals
The sustainability of global health programs depends on partnering with local healthcare providers. Without such support, global health initiatives will only produce short-term improvements. Local healthcare providers must be able to offer ongoing follow-up care and expand their practices in order to provide long-term improvements. Additionally, more patients need year-round access to healthcare.
Often, global health organizations work with nonprofits to fund their efforts. Many local community members volunteer to work with these organizations, often for free. It is important to compensate these community collaborators adequately for their essential healthcare, educational, and logistical tasks. The compensation should be commensurate with the wages of local workers, and it should be sufficient to help subsidize medical expenses.
Importance of building partnerships to achieve global health solutions
In global health, partnerships are a way of working together to solve health problems in diverse regions. Such collaborations can provide technical assistance, advocacy, finance, and capacity-building for health research and services. North-South partnerships are increasingly being promoted as an important way to strengthen health systems. They typically involve two or more organizations, and are often characterized by aspirational interests in equity and human rights.
However, it is clear that no single sector can solve global health problems alone. Rather, partnerships must include diverse perspectives, organizations, and skills to achieve effective solutions. The Rutgers Global Health Institute publishes a monthly e-newsletter, Global Health Connection, that highlights global health news, upcoming events, and relevant resources.
In order to achieve success, partnerships need to be equitable. In an equitable collaboration, the partner with the least resources gets more resources and both partners benefit equally. For example, a collaboration between Yale University and Makerere University in Uganda builds capacity in global health education. In this project, Yale researchers are collaborating with the Mulago Hospital (MH)-Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) in Kampala, Uganda.