Health economics is a branch of economics that deals with the issues related to the production and consumption of health and health care. It also goes on to study health-affecting behaviors such as smoking. As this is one of the very interesting topics around, your instructor may ask you to delve deeply into the topic. In this case, you may either have to write a report or a presentation. If you need to write the latter on this subject, feel free to go over our 10 facts on health economics for a presentation. However, if you are strapped for time, the following 20 topics may just be the right fix for you to begin creating a presentation right away.
You can use these topics as is or narrow them down further. If you need more guidance on preparing your presentation, visit our page on how to write a presentation about health economics for an outline and general tips. The following lines provide a quick sample for you to go through.
Hospitals are in a very unique position when it comes to health economics. All over the country, they are constantly expanding and cutting costs; and that has a direct effect on the overall health system. The consolidation of hospitals is also on the rise, a method achieved by buying various practices and merging with private entities. The people running these hospitals are driving up the costs of treatments themselves. In the process, however, the expansion has affected individually practicing physicians.
These expansions, which are clearly for profitability reasons, are justified as being an initiative to reduce waste and increase quality. The independent practices, unfortunately, are struggling with patient pressure and administration issues. Despite these, they are delivering quality services at lower prices. That is why private practices are considered a good choice for both patients and insurers. Unfortunately, the public is not aware of this.
A staggering amount of 105 hospitals merged in 2012 alone and this has doubled in the past five years. In the last decade, hospitals have exponentially gathered a plethora of physicians under their payroll. Between the years 2000 and 2010, hospitals have hired physicians 32% more than they normally do. The majority of these physicians were individual practitioners.
Hospitals have become a huge industry and they have people fooled by having them believe that their mergers and expansions have made the treatment costs lower. In most cases, the same treatment at a hospital can cost 200% more than at an independent practitioner. In a hospital, there are so many small bills patients receive for added facilities and additional services aside from the actual treatment.
So not only can hospital acquisition and mergers be a strain on the patient’s pockets, but also the insurance companies. Insurance companies are paying billions of dollars more to hospitals than a physician’s office.
This may be hidden from the masses, but these statistics are what hospitals are constantly worried about. Their argument is that the consolidation of hospitals will reduce the waste, protect the atmosphere, and keep the prices down due to the economy of scales. They believe that these mergers and expansions can incentivize the competition to cut costs. If, for example, two hospitals are in close proximity to a huge number of beds and they merge, they would reduce the cost by utilizing their resources, which in this case is the huge number of beds.
Also, health care insurance companies will also find it less costly to manage fewer hospitals than a huge number of them. These arguments by hospital owners are fake claims as the economy of scale is nowhere to be found and the quality of care, prices and costs are increasing every day.
Safe to say is that the expansion of hospitals will not be doing hospitals and/or insurance companies and good. The only parties benefiting are the people behind the hospital administrations. There should be awareness about this comparison between hospitals and individual physicians because people need to know that even if their insurance is covering their treatment costs, this negligence can tilt the scale of health economics and raise the costs of everything, including the amount a general patient pays to an insurance company.
You can definitely come up with a better topic and presentation. So, get ready to work hard on your upcoming PowerPoint presentation. Best of luck.
Bhattacharya, J., Hyde, T., & Tu, P. (n.d.). Health Economics.
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Drummond, M., & Drummond, M. (2005). Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Is the US Population Behaving Healthier? (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.nber.org/papers/w13013
Sloan, F. A., & Hsieh, C. (2012). Health economics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.