Healthscreening in the U.S
Healthscreening refers to the tests that people are subjected to so thatthe doctor can diagnose an infection in its early stages when it iseasy to treat. These tests help to prevent the active form of thedisease and in turn uphold a healthy state of the body. Typically,this test is normally conducted in your doctor’s office and case itneeds special equipment, it might be conducted in a different officeor even a clinic. This paper aims at discussing some of the majorarguments associated with health screening, for instance, the cost ofhealth screening and some of the pros and cons of health screening.
Costof Health Screenings
Inthe United States, most of the screening tests are inexpensive oreven free, and they are offered to particular people depending ontheir sex and age. Some of the free preventive services include:
Bloodpressure screenings for adults-this test is free for all people over 60 years. In this test, theyare tested for the force that is applied to the walls of the arterywhen the heart is pumping blood through the body. They then determinethe pressure by the amount and the force of the blood that is pumpedand the flexibility and the size of the arteries (McGlynn,et al. 2003).
AbdominalAnorectic Aneurysm one-time screening for men- thistest is normally recommended for all the people that are assumed tobe at risk of developing an aneurysm. This is a condition that ablood vessel enlarges abnormally outwards. This test might cost up to$35 depending on the health facility that you visit.
Cholesterolscreening for adults-this screening test is free to all the adults in the United States.They are advised to come for this test after every five years,especially when they have added weight abnormally. This test iscrucial because of the abundance of cholesterol and also the factthat it is abundant.
Colorectalcancer screenings-this test is recommended for all people over 50 years. It also refersto colon cancer screening and it is crucial in the prevention ofcolon cancer. Other alternatives for this test include the stoolscreening that is carried out annually (Smith,et al. 2009).
Coveragerules and implementation challenges
TheAffordable Care Act (ACA) plays a crucial role in the success of thehealth screening services that are provided to the persons of theUnited States. Their primary aim is to reduce the problem of costand even upturn the use of the prevention services among all thecitizens of America. In the process, there are certain rules thatboth the plans and the policyholders are supposed to follow. However,there are various circumstances that the insurers may opt to chargecopayments and even use other methods of cost-sharing while dealingwith the preventive services. Some of these circumstances include:
Inthe case where the preventive service and the office visit arecharged individually, then cost-sharing cannot be imposed for thepreventive service. In turn, the guarantor will still chargecost-sharing for the office visit itself.
Thesecond circumstance is when the core purpose for the visit isn’tthe preventive service. In this case, the patients will have to incurthe costs for the office visit themselves.
Thirdly,when the services are provided by an out-of-network benefactor whilethe in-network worker is accessible, then the insurers may berequired to charge the patients for the preventive services and theoffice visit. On the other hand, if the out-of-network provider isgiving services since the in-network provider is not available thencost-sharing cannot be charged.
Lastly,in the case where the treatment is given as an outcome of therecommended preventive service, but it is not a suggested serviceitself, and then it is possible for the cost-sharing to be charged.
Impactof the preventive services rules
Thegovernment, HHS Assistant Secretary for the Planning and Evaluation,approximates that about 137 million people do not receive the costcoverage regarding the preventive services since the policy waseffected. On the contrary, though the number of people who havereceived coverage for no-cost preventive services is high, publicalertness of the preventive services necessity is comparatively low.
Fewyears after the rule was effected, ACA reported that less than halfthe population was aware that the ACA eradicated out-of-pocketcharges for the preventive services. As the public awareness of suchbenefits grows, a few privately insured persons will have financialobstacles to preventive medical care.
Theeffect of increasing cost on the unnecessary procedure
Increasingcosts on the unnecessary procedures will cause people to shun fromthe health screening services. It is also critical to note thatpreventive services are made to help people to live a healthy lifefor long. Most of the health improvements are associated with morecosts.
Typically,people will tend to remain in their normal state if they think thatthey are healthy. Therefore, a major effect associated with anincrease in the cost is that there will be a long term negativeimpact in the health of the people since the diseases might attackthem later when they are hard to treat.
Asearlier mentioned, the preventive services have the potential to helppeople to avoid diseases and live longer. Some of the preventiveservices such as the childhood immunization have a long-term effect,and also may also reduce long-term health care spending. Therefore,most of the preventive services may be considered to becost-effective rather than cost-saving. This implies that benefitsassociated with preventive services outweigh the costs that areassociated with it (Pignone,et al. 2002).
ExpertOpinion about Health Screenings
Theantagonists of health screenings in the United States argue whilebasing on few facts that they think are substantial enough for peopleto ignore health screenings because of the effect it has in theirhealth.
Accordingto the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation’s, there aresome cases where the false positive result is obtained without theknowledge of both the doctors and the patients. In this case, thepatients believe that they cannot be affected by the screened diseaseand, on the contrary, they are attacked later in their lifetime. Theyfurther say that this has been the case often, and it risks the lifeof those individuals.
Additionally,other antagonists such as the National Roundtable on Health CareQuality have also argued that preventive services are also costly tomost of the individuals. The increased cost is a result of theoveruse of the healthcare services. They say that in despite theefforts to cover these costs, the patients are still expected to paylittle costs that in most cases come regularly. Therefore, in thecase of parents who take their whole family for screening, it will bea costly process. Therefore, they propose that there should be aneffective examination that can come once in a minimum of ten years tocut down the costs.
Besides,there have also been arguments by the Institute of Medicine regardingthe overuse of the services. They say doing ‘more’ can harmpatients. They defined overuse as the service that is given undersituations that its potential for harm outdoes its possible benefits.
Furthermore,the antagonists say that preventive services also defy the customer’spreferences. For instance, DEXA screening is of lower risk to peoplewho don’t have a measurable effect on the quality of life.Typically, the motives not to initiate chronic dialysis without jointdecision-making are more intricate than simply evading the initiationof a service anticipated bringing more harm than good. Somewhat,integrating a person’s preferences and goals into clinicaldecisions is helpful to evade the risk of the provision of theunwanted care.
Onthe other hand, the proponents say that health screenings normallyempower patients by providing them with the information that theyrequire and will help the doctors to differentiate themselves fromother practitioners. They further say that empowering the patientswith crucial information is the first important step towardspreventing most of the diseases (Chaudhry,et al. 2006).
Theproponents also argue that health screening is known to save lives ofmost of the people. Typically, in these tests, the diseases arediagnosed in their early stages when they can be prevented ortreated. Therefore, these tests reduce the risk of future attack bythe diagnosed disease. Health screening is known to diagnose cancerthat is a major cause of death. If diagnosed it can be treated in itsearly stages and save a life.
Lastly,the proponents also say that ‘these tests don’t harm’.According to Terry Diaz, an early detection of the risk factors forstroke and heart diseases saves lives. Therefore, it is important forall people to show up for these tests so that they can be diagnosedfor these diseases. They say that the tests are harmless to the bodyof the patients, and therefore, they should not fear being subjectedto these procedures (Dawson,et al. 1990).
Typically,health screening is a crucial way in preventing killer diseases intheir early stages where they can be prevented. It is crucial thatall individuals should show up for health screening so that they canavoid diseases such as cancer, blood pressure and stroke. Healthscreening also helps individuals to uphold a healthy state and becomeproductive.
Theexperts (both the antagonists and the proponents) encourage people tobe screened. All the proponents say that there are many advantagesassociated with health screening compared to the disadvantages.Therefore, people should be screened so that some of the diseases canbe avoided. The antagonists are also of the same idea that despitethe disadvantages they have noted, health screening is a betteroption for preventive most of the diseases. Therefore, people shouldshow up for screening and be tested for any risk factors that mightaffect them later in their life.
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