Web Quest Assignment

Web Quest Assignment

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A recently-deceased billionaire, has left their entire multi-billion dollar estate to the United States government with the sole purpose of improving the healthcare system. In the will, it is explicitly requested that the majority of the estate be left to whichever area of the healthcare system in greatest need.

You have been elected to participate in a study that will examine the structure, organization, and components of the US healthcare system with the purpose of deciding which area to give the majority of the money. As a select member of this distinguished research team, you must examine the strengths and weaknesses and identify areas where the money will have the greatest impact on the quality of our nation’s healthcare within a specific area.

What is your passion? Which part of our healthcare system do you feel would benefit most from financial support? In this assignment; the Web Quest, you will  begin by first looking at the overall workings of the U.S. healthcare system. Once you have completed an overview of US healthcare system you will focus on a specific focus area of interest.  You will begin to formulate a proposal explaining why funding is needed to support this focus area in healthcare. Your quest will end with a presentation where you will describe what you learned and propose a convincing case as to why you believe that the fictitious inheritance should be given to this aspect of healthcare.

Overview

You are on your way to conducting some intense research. Remember, the only way to make an informed decision is to have a complete understanding of the topic of interest. Begin by using the provided links to learn about the overall healthcare of our nation. You are encouraged to utilize other search tools to find information related to the proposed questions. Links change frequently so if you discover an inactive link please let me know and look up the name of the organization to find an updated link. You should focus your research on understanding the focus topic and the the impact our healthcare system has on your chosen focus topic area.

You should  choose a topic of interest from the focus topics provided. Once the focus topic is understood you will begin to see areas of strengths and weakness. As advocates for patients and populations it is important that we can identify areas that require attention but also be able to identify areas that may not be the best use of resources. Both the overview questions and the focus topic research questions should be included in your paper. While you should not feel you need to answer each question, you should use the questions to guide your research. The next step will be to verbalize the key points that would have an impact in convincing a non-healthcare person of the need for funding. Your presentation should be a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes in length. You may choose to use a PowerPoint presentation but this is optional. The audience is an executor of an estate and therefore is more likely to be a lawyer rather than a medical professional.

Examine the Overall Healthcare System  

Using the Websites listed below as well as others you may find begin to discover how the USA healthcare system functions. The questions are meant as a guide to discovery.

  1. What percentage of the Gross National Product is spent on healthcare in the U.S.? How much funding is given to your specified area of interest?
  2. Identify the key drivers of healthcare costs and which costs are most responsible for the high U.S. health care expenditures.
  3. What are the ways that healthcare insurance is financed, in both the public and private sectors? How do this impact your topic area?
  4. How do market forces influence health-care delivery related to your focus area?
  5. For most Americans, how is their healthcare insurance financed, and what are the inherent strengths and weaknesses of this system? How is your focus topic and population impacted by the method of financial reimbursement?

Useful Websites

Congressional Budget Office Testimony on Health Care Spending (Links to an external site.):

Rand’s Overview of the Structure of the U.S. Healthcare system (Links to an external site.):

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Links to an external site.):

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Links to an external site.)

Medicare: (Links to an external site.)

Medicaid: (Links to an external site.)

S-CHIP: (Links to an external site.)

Kaiser Family Foundation: Health Care Costs and Spending (Links to an external site.)

The World Health Organization: The World Health Report Chapter 1 (Links to an external site.)

Core U.S. Health Indicators (Links to an external site.):

Core Health Indicator from other countries: (Links to an external site.)

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (Links to an external site.):

ERISA Overview: (Links to an external site.)  (Links to an external site.)

Focus Areas (pick one focus topic from the list and provide a narrow focus within the topic to discuss)

Investigate and analyze the questions related to the focus area picked. Use these questions as a guide as to how detailed and what types of information will be beneficial to prove the need for funding.  Based on your targeted population, identify gaps in delivery of safe and quality care. Determine areas of strength and weakness. Develop a recommendation based on your research and present your findings as a position paper. Papers should 4- 5 pages in length. APA format, title page, reference page not included in page count. Abstract not necessary.

TOPICS

  1. Veteran’s Administration
  2. Mental health/substance abuse treatment and prevention
  3. Women’s health/family planning
  4. Health promotion/ disease prevention
  5. Long-term care
  6. Public Health
  7. Veteran’s Administration
  • How are health services delivered to veterans, and what is covered?
  • How does one become eligible for VA health care?
  • Which branch of the federal government is responsible for oversight of the healthcare of veterans? and the VA?
  • What are the major demographics and health epidemics among veterans?
  • How would you characterize the VA’s health care quality initiatives?
  • Describe the strengths, weaknesses, and unique characteristics of the VA health care delivery system.

Useful Websites

Veteran’s Benefits Association: (Links to an external site.)

Department of Veterans Affairs: (Links to an external site.)

House Committee on Veterans Affairs: (Links to an external site.)

Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs: (Links to an external site.)

The Institute of Medicine: Health of Veterans and Deployed Forces: (Links to an external site.)

  1. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention
  • Describe the epidemiology of mental health and substance abuse for children, adults, and older adults, and the cost implications.
  • Discuss the legislative history of mental health parity and why mental health services are covered differently than physical illness.
  • Briefly describe the public, private, and volunteer structures for mental health care delivery in the U.S.
  • Which branch(es) of the federal government are responsible for mental health? Substance abuse research and policy? Substance abuse prevention?
  • Describe the strengths, weaknesses, and unique characteristics of U.S. mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention programs.

Useful Websites

Substance Abuse and Services Administration: (Links to an external site.)

National Institute of Mental Health: (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

Mental Health.Gov: (Links to an external site.)

  1. Women’s Health/Family Planning
  • What services are included in women’s health?
  • How/where do women receive healthcare in the U.S.?
  • How are women’s health services financed?
  • Briefly describe the public, private, and volunteer structures for women’s healthcare delivery in the U.S.
  • What percentage of the federal budget is allocated for women’s health programs?
  • What are the strengths, weaknesses and unique characteristics of women’s health issues?

Useful Websites

DHHS Office of Women’s Health: National Women’s Health Information Center (Links to an external site.):

DHHS Women’s Health Index: (Links to an external site.)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: (Links to an external site.)

Kaiser Family Foundation: (Links to an external site.)

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Links to an external site.):

  1. Health Promotion/Disease Prevention
  • What are prevention services and how are they delivered in the U.S. healthcare system?
  • Who finances prevention services?
  • How are preventive services assessed for effectiveness, and how are they recommended for widespread clinical use with the general population?
  • What is being done to reduce the racial and ethnic disparities in preventable deaths?
  • What are HEDIS measures, and why were they developed (from a policy perspective)?

Useful Websites

DHHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Links to an external site.):

Center for Rural Health (Links to an external site.):

National Committee on Quality Assurance: HEDIS and Performance Measurements (Links to an external site.)
Agency for  (Links to an external site.)HealthCare Research and Quality: Putting Prevention into Practice (Links to an external site.)

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: (Links to an external site.)

DHHS – Office of Minority Health: (Links to an external site.)

  1. Long-Term Care
  • What are the forms of long-term care?
  • How do private and federal long-term care insurance programs work, and what percentage is purchased by the senior population?
  • How is long-term care regulated and financed in the U.S.?
  • Describe the hospice benefit and eligibility.
  • How does a policy maker know if long-term care facilities are delivering quality-of-care?
  • Who delivers care to the elderly, and what are the future projections for the long-term care workforce?
  • What is OSCAR, why is it important in long-term care?
  • What are the strengths, weaknesses, and unique characteristics of the U.S. long-term care system?

Useful Websites
Long-Term Care Overview (Links to an external site.):

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: (Links to an external site.)

DHHS: Administration on Aging (Links to an external site.)

DHHS: Aging Index (Links to an external site.)

Federal Interagency Forum on Age Related Statistics (Links to an external site.):

National Center for Health Statistics: Aging (Links to an external site.)

U.S Census Bureau: Aging (Links to an external site.)

  1. Public Health
  2. How is the US public health system organized across the country?
  3. What are safety net providers, and how are they financed?
  4. Describe critical access hospitals and why a community would want to seek eligibility.
  5. Describe the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and other members of the public health workforce.
  6. What is a FQHC, whom does it serve, and why would a facility be interested in applying for that designation?

Useful Websites

Rural Health Info (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

National Health Service Corps: (Links to an external site.)

America’s Health Care Safety Net: Intact but Endangered (2000)  Institute of Medicine  (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

National Conference of State Legislatures: Federally Qualified Health Centers (Links to an external site.)

American Hospital Association (Links to an external site.):

National Rural Health Association (Links to an external site.):

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