Theproblem of financial constraints emanating from escalations in thecost of healthcare has in recent years raised global concern becausethe repercussions not only affect the patients but nurses and otherhealthcare practitioners as well. According to Jones(2015),this is a financial management issue that has resulted to more than31% of patient deaths that could have been avoided if key players inthe healthcare industry had managed to come up with a solution.Additionally, research indicates that approximately 26% of thehealthcare workforce has been reported to have shown declines indelivery efficiency owing to low and demoralizing salaries ashospitals seek to counter the ongoing global financial crisis(Tritter& Koivusalo, 2010).This means that escalations in costs of healthcare is not a separateevent but is directly intertwined with the current global financialissues. This paper will provide findings derived from interviews withtwo participants (finance manager and financial analyst) from ahealthcare organization responsible for finance by blending interviewresults with relevant literature.
Accordingto Challier(2014),questions derived from literature provide a successful means ofpresenting interview based findings because they assist in explainingimportant points. As such, the explanation of the interview resultswill seek to answer the following questions as derived from Jones(2015).
How long has the organization tried to address this issue? What measures have been taken to address this issue in the past?
What future steps have been planned to address this issue? What problems does the organization foresee as blocks to addressing this issue?
How did your perception of the financial issue differ from the perception of those who are actually working on finances in the organization?
Periodand previous measures
Findingsfrom interviewing the financial analyst indicate that theorganization has attempted to combat the issue of rising healthcarecosts for at least five years. During this period, the organizationhas sought to use two measures. The financial advisor was deemed fitto provide information because of access to information based on theresponsibility to develop models that are to aid the organization inpredicting opportunities, maximizing profits, and minimizing risks(Jones,2015).Information from the interviewee revealed that the organization hasused two measures- reduction of salaries and cutting down the numberof employees. Nevertheless, research indicates that these measureshave proven rather damaging because of their negative impact on boththe workforce and the patients (Tritter& Koivusalo, 2010).According to Challier(2014),the combined effect of these measures reduces workforce morale andmay even cause more deaths eventually.
Futuremeasures and possible obstacles
Afteran interview with the finance manager, it was clear that theorganization has come up with future measures to combat the problem.This particular participant was relevant because his role in theorganization to develop financial management strategies and implementgoals gave access to vital information necessary for determiningfuture measures and anticipated roadblocks. The organization has onlyone future strategy- to carry out safe staffing ratios and finallyenhance patient care as well as workforce retention (Tritter& Koivusalo, 2010).Despite having this stratagem, the greatest obstacle lies with theincome of the organization as it has not been able to raise itsprofits to cater for the necessary salary increments. Challier(2014)opines that safe staffing ratios can only be implemented byorganizations that have no problems with income generation becauseretention in itself is correlated to calculated increments ofsalaries.
Theperception of the interviewer concerning the problem was slightlydifferent from that of the interviewees working on finances in theorganization. While they mainly considered the problem as resultingfrom the inability of the organizations executives to choose andimplement the correct strategies (Tritter& Koivusalo, 2010),the interviewer sees the financial issue of escalating healthcarecosts as a direct result of the current global financial crisis(Jones,2015).Research efforts have discovered that escalations in healthcare costsare not an independent phenomenon but that the issue is rather a waveof the present-day global pecuniary impasse. Furthermore, Challier(2014) argues that healthcare organizations can do little to improve thesituation without other key determinants getting involved to help thetwo thirds of the global population who can hardly cater for theiressential needs come to a position where they are able to both caterfor these needs and afford health-related services.
Thispaper has provided the findings of the financial management issue ofescalated healthcare costs based on interviewing the finance managerand financial analyst of a healthcare organization. In addition, theresults obtained have been merged with current and relevantliterature. For the sake of clarity and focus, the findings have beenbased on three questions that subsequently gave rise to threesections namely period and previous measures, future measures andpossible obstacles, and finally differences in perception. Inconclusion, the problem of escalating costs in healthcare seemsalmost impossible to eliminate given the current financial crisisfacing the globe.
Challier,M. (2014). Costs and New Technologies in HealthcareDelivery. Encyclopediaof Healthcare Information Systems, 4(12),290-296.
Jones,R. (2015). Age and financial risk in healthcare costs. BrJ Healthcare Management British Journal of HealthcareManagement, 15(3),378-389.
Tritter,J., & Koivusalo, M. (2010). Globalisation,markets and healthcare policy: Redrawing the patient as consumer.London: Routledge.