In response to high health care costs in the United States, several cost containment
strategies have been implemented by health care systems, resulting from health reform
and managed care organization (MCO) policies. Provide a brief description of at least
two cost containment strategies and describe the intended impact on cost and quality of
care. Are these strategies appropriate and necessary? Should new strategies be imposed
by government regulation or agreed upon voluntarily by insurers and the insured?
Explain and support your position with evidence.
Cost Containment Strategies
The united states have implemented health reforms and managed care organization
policies as a measure to curb the high healthcare costs. They are imposed by government
regulations to ensure that the cost is significantly reduced, assuring access to healthcare and
also guarantee the quality of care and services given to patients (Orszag, 2016). Various
strategies have been utilized, including Population health management initiatives such as
smoking cessation programs and healthy diets, to reduce the impact of the associated diseases
and complications to other conditions. Smoking cessation campaigns and help centers have
led to a decline in patients diagnosed with various related conditions and those at high risk to
reduce the impact of diseases such as cardiopulmonary conditions, hypertension, cancers, and
diabetes (Orszag, 2016). Moreover, the population health management also provides the data
from a given demographic which aids in the planning of available resources to cater to the
conditions prevalent in the given population
Another strategy utilized is the use of telemedicine, which aids in providing low-cost
consultation services to patients at their convivence. The doctors provide primary care
remotely and hence decrease the associated costs with hospital and emergency door visits. It
also aids in increasing the accessibility to healthcare, and therefore the population is served
adequately (Khullar & Chokchi, 2018). The workload on healthcare professions is also
reduced, and thus it improves on the quality of care provided to the various individuals.
However, there are instances that the doctors will recommend hospital visits depending on
COST CONTAINMENT STRATEGIES 2
the severity of the patients. They also monitor the chronic conditions remotely through the
use of wearable innovations, which lead to better patient outcomes.
The use of healthcare plans, in-network healthcare providers, and healthcare savings
accounts and flexible spending accounts can be included in the legislature to minimize the
costs of healthcare and hence, are beneficial to the insurer, the patient, and the employers. In
network, service providers also charge less as compared to out-of-network providers, and
thus patients are encouraged to use the in-network providers (Riley, 2018). Additionally, the
patients are encouraged to have pre-tax healthcare savings accounts for medical emergencies
that are transferrable from one employee to another to augment the services provided by
healthcare providers that would require out-of-pocket expenses.
COST CONTAINMENT STRATEGIES 3
Khullar, D., & Chokchi, D. A. (2018). Can better care coordination lower health care costs?
JAMA Open Network, 1(7), 1-3.
Orszag, P. R. (2016). US health care reform. Cost containment and improvement in quality.
JAMA, 316(5), 493-495.
Riley, B. (2018). Can consumers be Smarter health care shoppers in the quest for cost
containment? North Carolina Medical Journal NCMJ, 79(1), 34-38.