User Pays System For Aged Care

User Pays System For Aged Care

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User Pays System For Aged Care

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User Pays System For Aged Care

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Discuss about the User Pays System for Aged Care.
 
 
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User Pays System for Aged Care
A health care model is an important tool to delivering health care to a population of a country. Health care systems form a framework that a country uses to meet its health care needs. Health care models aim to keep people healthy, treat the sick, and protect people from running out of finances because of medical bills (Williams et al., 2015). Aging population has high demand for health care and a country is required to develop aged care policy that meet their need and balance resources allocation (Laporte, & McMahon, 2016). Australia has a growing aging population of over 400000 and is estimated to increase to 500000 in 2020 and over 1.8 million in the year 2050. The current aging population financing is 9% of the country’s GDP. The increasing financial burden will be unmanageable in the future by the government. Health care policies are influenced by socio-political issues. The following essay is a critique of user pays system in providing aged care in Australia. This will involve discussion of positives and negatives of user pays system in aged care and an evaluation of the model in relation to service provision.
User pays model approach aligns beneficiaries of a public good to pay the burden. User pays model refers to a health care system where consumers of a health care pay (Mitchell et al., 2015). The approach ensures resources are efficiently allocated as compared to when the government or a third party pays for health care. The user pay model requires the person whose care is provided to pay for the medical bills. This is different from what has been happening in Australia when the government, Commonwealth, and states have been paying for aged care whether they have ability or not. This approach of has proven unsustainable and unaffordable due to increasing aging population. The model will require aged persons accessing medical care to pay their bills. This policy has positives and negatives to aged care providers, aged patients and the government.   
The user pays model has positives based on the approach to aligning cost to beneficiaries. First, the user pay system will enable aged care sustainability (Mendelson et al., 2017). The government which is the main funder of aging care will be able to sustainability fund the aging population. Currently, the government spends $1600 to fund aged care to an individual person yearly. This amount cumulatively is 9% of the Australian GDP and if the user pays model is not adopted the government cannot sustain the funding (Duckett, 2018). The government will therefore be required to offer subsidies rather than fully fund aged care. Secondly, the user pays system will remove tax burden. Currently, tax payers in forced to be higher prices for fuels and other products in order to finance aged care. The user pays model will remove the burden from the tax payer since aged patients will incur costs for the health care provided. Thirdly the user pays model is flexible to aged care providers. Aged care will be deregulated and providers will be required to provide high quality health care to attract and maintain client. This will increase competition that will encourage aged care providers to flexible aged care that meet patient’s needs while observing best practices (Beard et al., 2016). Another positive feature of user pays approach to aged care is that patients will be able to get advanced care as they want. The patients will be able to choose where they get health care different from the current situation. It recorded that 50% of Australian die in hospitals every years and only 15% at home compared to UK and New Zealand where 30% die at home. The user approach will therefore enable patients to make decision on where they want to get advanced care. For instance, aging patients will be able to receive health care at home with their families. Therefore, user pays model is sustainable and affordable to the government and tax payer and improves quality health care delivery by deregulation of the market.
 
User pays approach has it negative side. First the approach will cause burden to people with less. Every old patient will be required to pay in order to receive health care. This will cause financial burden to patients and their families. All the aging population doesn’t work and don’t have an income or reliable income. They use their retirement saving that cannot support their palliative care needs. The patient and the family will therefore have to pay medical bills that can ruin their finances. Secondly, the user pays model aging care providers struggling to provide quality health. The aging care providers will lack consistent system of payment (O’Loughlin, Kendig, & Browning, 2017). This will lead to lack of funds to finance quality health care or aging population in Australia. Another negative feature of user pays model is the issue of bad debts. The aging patients are likely not to settle debts once they are treated. They will not afford to settle their medical bill because they don’t earn or lack property that can be sold to cater for the medical bills. Bad debts can also result to a situation where the patient dies before clearing the medical bill (Wakerman et al., 2017). Debts will lead to aging care providers becoming bankrupt. User pays approach therefore, has its negative that can bring the aging sector to a standstill.
 The user pays model includes all stakeholders in the aging care. The approach stakeholder include; providers, financiers, tax payer, and the patient. The aged care providers are health centers that provide health care to aged population in Australia. The user pays model outlines that the aged care providers will be charging aged patients for health care they offer them. The second stakeholder in the user pays model is the government. The government will not be required to fully fund the aged patients care. The government role will be to offer subsidizers to aged patients. The other stakeholder in the model is the patient. The model majorly focuses on the patient paying for the health care provided. The patients who will be required to pay for their medical bills to get health care. The approach also allows aged patients to make choices on where to get health care. The user pays model removes tax burden from the tax payer.
The user pays model has a comprehensive approach that will change the aging Australian population. The user pays model services will be provided to older people where and when they want. Services in the model will be delivered by professional at their residential or community health centers. The older people will have a choice to get attended at the place of choose. The user pays model cost for providing aged care is incurred by the patient or the patient’s family. The government will no longer be involved in financing aged care providers. This means that the approach will require the patient to make arrangements for setting their medical bills. The user pays approach will improve quality of care offered to aged patients. The government will deregulate the sector leaving it to free market with subsidy (Leung et al., 2018). Aged care providers will compete for clients by improving quality health delivery. The aged care providers will also modify their product to offer holistic palliative care for their patients and hospital reputation (Williams et al., 2015). This will be improve quality of care to patient either in health centers, community centers or residential. The user pays model approach requires a consumer of health care to pay. The approach is meets aged care needs while using minimum resources. This ensures minimum allocation of resources and optimal delivery of health care. The user pays model focus on patients health and more likely to meet patients needs as compared to other health care models. Therefore, user pays approach is effective and ensures efficient allocation of resources and ensure high quality health delivery.   
In summary, user pays model of health care will change Australian aging care approach. Aged patients will pay for their medical bills to get health care. The approach has benefits that reduce the government and the tax payer burden and allows the patient to access advanced care where and when they want. The user pays approach transfers the financial burden to the patient and the family. The financial burden will affect the aged care provider, patients, and their families. The user pays approach will be sustainable and affordable to the Australian government and improve quality of aged care to aged patients. Therefore, user pays model is a timely and effective approach for providing health care to the increasing Australian population.
 
References   
Beard, J. R., Officer, A., de Carvalho, I. A., Sadana, R., Pot, A. M., Michel, J. P., … & Thiyagarajan, J. A. (2016). The World report on ageing and health: a policy framework for healthy ageing. The Lancet, 387(10033), 2145-2154.
Duckett, S. (2018). Expanding the breadth of Medicare: learning from Australia. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 1-25.
Mendelson, A., Kondo, K., Damberg, C., Low, A., Motúapuaka, M., Freeman, M., … & Kansagara, D. (2017). The effects of pay-for-performance programs on health, health care use, and processes of care: a systematic review. Annals of internal medicine, 166(5), 341-353.
Mitchell, G. K., Burridge, L., Zhang, J., Donald, M., Scott, I. A., Dart, J., & Jackson, C. L. (2015). Systematic review of integrated models of health care delivered at the primary–secondary interface: how effective is it and what determines effectiveness?. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 21(4), 391-408.
Laporte, A., & McMahon, M. (2016). Aging and Long-Term Care. In World Scientific Handbook of Global Health Economics and Public Policy: Volume 2: Health Determinants and Outcomes (pp. 43-82).
 Leung, E., Chau, C. W., Lee, A., Chen, Y. F., & Lee, D. T. (2018). Integrated care as a strategic solution for active aging in the community: Tools and models. In Sustainable Health and Long-Term Care Solutions for an Aging Population (pp. 145-160). IGI Global.
O’Loughlin, K., Kendig, H., & Browning, C. (2017). Challenges and Opportunities for an ageing Australia. In Ageing in Australia (pp. 1-10). Springer, New York, NY.
Williams, O., Mutch, A., Douglas, P. S., Boyle, F. M., & Hill, P. S. (2015). Proposed changes to Medicare: undermining equity and outcomes in Australian primary health care?. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 39(2), 106-108.
Wakerman, J., Humphreys, J., Wells, R., Kuipers, P., Entwistle, P., & Jones, J. (2017). A systematic review of primary health care delivery models in rural and remote Australia 1993-2006.

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