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Education and literacy is looked upon as one of the most vital instruments that a society can invest in if it expects to improve its health standards. Health problems, for instance diseases like cholera can always be avoided if societal members are enlightened. There are so many health problems that arise from illiteracy in the society and therefore educating the society is very important.
Social support networks also have a role to play in enhancing better health standards in the society. It is easier to pass educational messages on matters of health through such social networks if they are well established in the society.
Employment and working conditions; in any society where the working conditions of individual are maintained as required by the corresponding bodies, the health standards in such a society are very high. So many people suffer from health problems which emanate from poor working conditions for example, employees in cement factories usually suffer from lung problems due to inhalation of the dust as a result of lack of wearing of appropriate safety gadgets.
There is a close relationship between a society’s definition of health and the means that it employs in enhancing higher standards of health. A society that endeavors to incorporate McKnight’s definition of health does not just stop at such a definition. It goes ahead to ensure that it puts in place measures to ensures that nothing that is done by a few members of the society ends up putting the health of the entire or part of the society at risk. Approaching health matters from this angle, the society protects and hence closes all avenues to health problems.
Increased technology has greatly enhanced better health standards in the society. Various health problems have been taken care of in the society through technological advancement. Advanced technology has made it easier for the society to ensure that industrial effluents are monitored before they leave the industries. This way, harmful industrial effluents are not allowed in the atmosphere since through technology, they are not only detected but also controlled to ensure that the society does not end up suffering from health problems emanating from such problems (Lener, 1973).
Health policies set out the framework through which health determinants are checked to ensure that higher health standards are maintained. Once the health policies have been established, it becomes the duty of the law enhancement bodies to ensure that whatever has been passed as a policy is fully reinforced. This way, factory owners for example become obliged to ensure that they provide all the recommended safety gadgets to their employees. Once this is done, health problems among the factory employees will be dealt with and hence prevented in the future. It is therefore important that a society not only formulates stringent legislations to enhance better health, but also ensures that the formulated legislations are fully implemented without any comprise (Trochim & Kane, 2005).
Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (Medical Act of 2003) was signed into law on 8th December 2003 by the then President of the USA, George W. Bush. The new legislation swept major changes to the United State medical care program. This legislation gave Medicare beneficiaries assistance in payment of prescription drugs. The Act also extended its programs and forms the foundation for others to begin which will be of great use to Medicare beneficiary. Despite these benefits, the Legislation restructured most of the traditional Medicare programs and strongly relied on private Medicare insurance to deliver its benefits. On addition to this, the Act increases cost sharing responsibilities among beneficiaries (Marsha Gold, 2008).
At the time the bill was passed, most Americans were struggling with increasing cost for Medicare and prescription drugs. The main aim of the Medicare prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Medicare act was to alleviate the financial stress and pressure Americans were facing as a result of escalating Medicare expenses. This Act necessitated tax saving on highly deductable health insurance plans with a new health, Medicare savings account (HAS). The intention of the bill is that by encouraging health insurance policies that are highly deductable, individuals seeking prescription drugs or medical insurance will be highly cost conscious on the medical services provided.
Provisions of the new legislation
Prescription drug benefit
Under this program citizens will have a financial incentive of seeking Medicare care and prescription to the Medicare. The act created a new Medicare Part D where individuals eligible for either Part A or B obtained quality prescription drug administration either through Medicare Advantage plan (MA-PD) or prescription drug plan (PDP). Such services were to be offered in areas developed by CMS that corresponds to areas for managed care plans. The coverage under the new voluntary benefits began on 1st January, 2006 (Marsha Gold, 2008).
Part D was different from part B in that the drug enrollment was in the drug plan. The first enrollment period was between 15th November 2005 and 15th May 2006. Individuals who were eligible for the first enrollment for part A after that date would have an enrollment period that corresponded to that of part B. Other individuals who did not have a chance to enroll at that initial period would have an opportunity to do so in the annual enrollment period that corresponded to the enrollment period for managed care plans. Special enrollment periods for individuals who moved out of any service centre were also provided, including those who lost compaable coverage under Medicaid, employer plan, or other plans but with an exception of those under Medigap policies H.I.J. (Medicare Trustees Report, 2009).
Cost control in drug prescription
The Act ensured that the Secretary of health and Human services (HHS) negotiated for drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries who were around 41 million people. The negotiation process was to be carried out individually in reference to PDP and MA-PD groups. The importation process of drugs and other pharmaceuticals from Canada and other nations was also restricted because it would affect the price of the local drugs. By this, the Act did not adequately address the problem of price control because restricting importation of drugs favored exploitation by the local companies.
Low-income earners Prescription drug coverage
The Medicare Act differentiated between fully Medicaid and people who were eligible for Medicare and other low income earner groups and provided financial assistance to both groups. The secretary of HHS was given the standard authority which stated the access of pharmacy services to these groups. They were treated differently because they had different capabilities (Marsha Gold, 2008).
Coordination with other programs
State Pharmacy Assistance programs
More than 30 states are currently providing drug coverage to people with disabilities, old individuals or both populations. In many cases the State Pharmacy assistance programs are more active and generous in the provision of medical services and other Medicare drug benefits.
The structural changes
The Act extends through 30th September, 2004, the QI-1 program, which was authorized on 31st March 2004. The programs advised state Medicaid programs to cater for Medicare Part B premium for people who are not eligible for Medicaid and their income is between 120-137% of federal poverty levels. The state found 100% solution to cover these costs, i.e. it was not much for the state to cover the costs. Therefore president’s Bush’s fiscal year 2004 budget included the reauthorization of the QI-1 program for the following five years.
The benefits and services
The act provided Medicare part B coverage of intravenous immune globulin. This started in the year 2004 where more attention was given to immune deficiency diseases where medical attention was crucial. In 2005, the act added it coverage as a result of preventive advantages for Medicare beneficiaries. This includes:
1)An initial physical exam; performed in the first six months of a beneficiary enrolling in part B. In case an individual fails to enroll in Part B, he/she never gets the exam.
2)Cardiovascular screening: this touches the blood test such as cholesterol (triglycerides and lipids) after every two years at most. It provides for additional tests but with approval of the Secretary and may be restricted to specific individuals and only under recommendation of the Preventive Service Task force in U.S (Medicare Trustees Report, 2009).
3)Diabetes screening through plasma glucose test. Other examinations may succeed with the approval of the secretary. This test is limited to individuals with high risk of diabetes following the following risk factors: suffering from hypertension, aged 65 and above, obesity (BMI>30), dyslipidemia, a previous culprit of impaired glucose tolerance, family history on diabetes, over weight, delivery of a baby> 9 lbs or gestational diabetes history. The examination lapse is more than twice in a year (Medicare Trustees Report, 2009).
The proposed changes to Medicare and prescription drug benefit sparked a national debate in 2003. The bill congress was to change the health care landscape and giving managed care more influence. The larger part of the controversy was as a result of the introduced incentives which lose steep competition to the private sector. Different parties argued that the competition would help in the development of stronger foothold for managed care in the system, while others argued that it would lead to problems (American Psychology Association, 2011).
This isn’t the first time Medicare has been subjected, in 1997, Congress passed Medicare+ Choice program. This act gave beneficiaries the choice between private managed health plans and traditional Medicare plan. The suggestions did not hit because most individuals chose to stay with traditional plans. The current law aimed at rehabilitating the Medicare+ Choice strategy through subsidies and reimbursement beginning 2006. This opposition was led by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) among others (American Psychology Association, 2011).
It was argued by different parties that this law entertained market forces competition which is not adequate enough to solve health care problems.
These problems have affected both health-care provider and consumers like psychologists. It seems that this legislation might affect the situation despite its appearance of improving healthcare. Therefore it can bring a solution to the cost problems which have been a problem for the past 20years.The bill was also supported by different activists such as Welch; he claimed this bill was unlike the techniques which brought complications. He added and said that the technique was good enough to give managed health care it foothold (American Psychology Association, 2011).
Electronic data access and storage has improved the health care, by ensuring that all the information on diagnosis and other personal information that is helpful in administering medication are properly kept. This ensures convenience in retrieval of data. As a result of the different arguments from different parties, the congress has decided to amend the Act to meet the needs of the society; sustainable competition and good health care.
A health policy competency is of the meaning the knowledge, skills and behaviour that a person possesses and gives him the chance to evaluate the public policy making process in the best known way possible so as to acquire its implication in the point of concern so as to be able to acquire the effect it has on the public policy formulation process.
For the success of an organization the researchers and human resource practitioners have to possess the attribute of competency for an individual to perform a task in the best known way (Bacharach, 2008). For this success to be acquired, the individual has to be in possession of competencies that are knowledge, skill, attitude or even features. It has to be measurable for it to be applied in the case of an organization. The level of competency may however contrast; it is difficult to advance once behaviour of managing conflict, handling ambiguity, being politically savvy, or acquire behavior for specific instances. It otherwise becomes easy to advance the traits of having integrity, trustworthiness, having technical skills and being fast to act on issues. The more complex competencies are to advance; they need a long-term commitment to advance assignments for better change to happen. For the complex competencies or the one that do not have direct knowledge what it is required is the issuance of resources.
In a company design the executives are to have established the intentional sequence of correlations on the human and resources in the area of concern. A competent policy maker is one who identifies the pending imbalance that exists between the profits and loss and sees this as a problem. They are not self-centered as they see the interest of others ahead of theirs.
Political competency is one who gets the understanding of what one can and cannot manage, when to act, who is bound to present resistance to what you are pushing and who to have on your side to sail your objective through. It entails creating a framework of the political landscape, getting back up and leading groups.
The witness’ testimony presented On April 9, 2003 the U.S. congressional Subcommittee on Health on the topic "Strengthening and Improving Medicare" showed traits of political competency. First of all a politically competent person has to be in a position to identify the problem, he (Mr. Brown) was able to identify the fault in the Medicare stating that it presented opportunities for insolvency and bring destruction in the economy of the country through taking in of the GDP (republicans.energycommerce.house, 2003). He termed taxes as being the best way to solve the prevailing situation. For competency he is sure to get objections from the other members in the team and so as a politically competent person he had to collect a person in his side. He took the stand to support the president in the acts.
Considering the attribute that a politically competent person is one who is able to know what he or she can or cannot do. It is through this that Mr. Brown demonstrated and brought forth the idea that doing away with the traditional Medicare would make the poor poorer. As well as how creating a two-tier health system that is composed of a health system that may or may not issue a longer and better coverage so as to offer a competent method for making a stronger and improved Medicare.
Overally, Mr. Brown was politically able to put across his ideas which had the best of intentions in the best way possible so as to make things to happen in the organization. It generally entails the capacity to understand and evaluate one’s environment and take an effective and efficient action.
The Med Assets is a healthcare organization that has incorporated the act of corporate citizenship in its culture. This act is a good considering the responsibility it has to offer a helping hand to the less fortunate (medassets, 2011). This is based on the wide range of activities that the healthcare organization has undertaken which include: the organization in its belief of the potential that children have is entrusted to allocating the opportunity to advance their potential.
Med Assets, with the assistance of other organizations and people, has been able to restore the lost hope for several children who are taken from the slums and streets to be taken to a foundation known as Mully Children’s Family Charitable Foundation home. This organization rescues babies and orphans already affected by HIV/AIDS, boys doing forced labour and girls doing slavery and offers them food, shelter, education and good medical services.
The organization has also an organization called MedShare international that is destined to recycling excess medical products and facilities so as to be put to use by other developing countries. This is made possible by the collection of batch and items products and facilities that are not needed by the US healthcare providers and suppliers. This also acts as environmental remedy for disposing the medicines.
Med Asset also has a program called the Hire Heroes USA which is tasked with providing placement services for free to war veterans and employers so as to give the m the opportunity to enjoy their freedom which they fought hard for. This program offers a channel for careers to these veterans. This is made possible through matching the desire and knowledge of these veterans with the organization’s needs.