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Is Health Care a Civil Right or a Privilege?

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization. 

By Tekisha King
March 1, 2019

Innovation is emerging rapidly today in terms of health care-enabling solutions. As we shift to a quality vs. quantity health care model, technology infrastructure and cybersecurity are prime tools to ensure secured health data.

Technological breakthroughs and emerging trends ranging from blockchain to application programming interface domains to artificial intelligence consumer-driven products are leveraging health care services. Public and private partnerships are building mega health systems to integrate health care services with interdisciplinary teams of medical professionals. Lastly, health care fraud incidents are continuously rising, which contributes to increased health care costs despite the revitalization of current laws and regulations set forth to ensure the safety of health information. Furthermore, despite the many breakthroughs in health care, individuals are being held financially accountable for health outcomes. They are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes making healthy food choices, a commitment to physical activity and adherence to routine medical care.

Technological breakthroughs and emerging trends ranging from blockchain to application programming interface domains to artificial intelligence consumer-driven products are leveraging health care services. Public and private partnerships are building mega health systems to integrate health care services with interdisciplinary teams of medical professionals. Lastly, health care fraud incidents are continuously rising, which contributes to increased health care costs despite the revitalization of current laws and regulations set forth to ensure the safety of health information.

Furthermore, despite the many breakthroughs in health care, individuals are being held financially accountable for health outcomes. They are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes making healthy food choices, a commitment to physical activity and adherence to routine medical care.

Where does your organization stand with the value of system infrastructure? Technological infrastructure is scaling health organizations to properly manage, compile and analyze increasingly digitized data. This is vital for making informed health decisions and increasing return on revenue. First, consumer-driven products and services have astoundingly improved to give patients access to health-related information via mobile or other personalized devices with patient portals. Secondly, new technological infrastructure is compatible with multiple platforms and devices, and for providing information in real-time. This is opposed to dismantled non-infrastructure systems that comprise patient health information, waste system memory and duplicate medical procedures disrupting patient care.

For instance, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple have entered the health care arena by creating wearables devices to help manage chronic medical conditions in real-time for patients, while also transmitting clinical data into electronic health records for providers. In addition, in 2018 Google has begun to develop a blockchain search engine to retrieve data with specific transaction numbers, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. Health entities are transitioning to blockchain methodologies as an efficient and secure process to access medical data interchangeable to multiple users.

As computer hackers become more sophisticated, cybersecurity has heightened with specified emphasis to uphold the Health Information and Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the False Claims Act (FCA). Medicare and Medicaid’s fraud cases are increasing despite current laws and regulations contributing to skyrocketing health care costs. In fiscal year 2018, health care companies and physicians paid out $2.5 billion in FCA settlements and judgements, up from $2.4 billion the previous year. Of that total, $2.1 billion resulted from cases filed by whistleblowers, who received $301 million from the settlements according to a Modern Healthcare article titled, “New Justice Department Policies, New AG May Mute False Claims Act Whistleblowers.”

Government agencies have intervened in their role in all aspects of health care to modernize opportunities with digital medicine advancements, as well as to enforce laws and regulations for the greater good of the public. For instance, the FDA has become more involved with the constant evolution of digital tools to add promising innovation to diagnostic or therapeutic purposes, according to HIMSS Insights. Public health officials are using digital tools to develop personalized approaches to prevention and surveillance with direct-to-consumer services.

Public and private company acquisitions and mergers are on the rise as more health systems, non-profit organizations and private organizations address specific health gaps, reduce health inequalities and promote good health initiatives in rural communities. Community wellness events ongoingly build community awareness about chronic medical conditions, promote wellness, and educate residents with online and community-based services.

Technology aims to positively impact health care in effective telemedicine services, teleconferencing tools and webinars to collaborate fluid medical information to individuals and providers globally. Telemedicine services continue to evolve in more sectors within health care to minimize health costs with transportation, services and delivery of quality health care—all through technology. For instance, Walmart offers its employees a 90 percent discount on telemedicine services for a virtual visit from $40 to $4, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. Although health care pricing is steadily climbing, more employers and health entities are building partnerships to ensure access to equal health care services that benefit all.

As an intrinsic and extrinsic health care pioneer exposed to many sectors in health care, I am honored and proud of the many accomplishments made thus far beneficial to all. Technology is the key to the future and to promoting equal solutions that eliminate social and economic determinants of health. Education is another keen factor to ensure proper understanding of the severity of health conditions in regards to complex medical jargon, prescribed medication and understanding recommended medical procedures. In addition, technology allows health care leaders to manage and battle the severity of the opioid crisis impacting many individuals and increasing mortality rates worldwide.

Prescribed medication provides a temporary solution to an acute health condition that can be managed without medication contingent upon lifestyle choices. For instance, Type II Diabetes can be managed without prescribed medication with proper adherence to blood-glucose management, diet and physical activity. Ultimately, health care is a civil right not to be mistaken as a privilege, despite the fact that you will be held financially accountable for your health outcome.


Author: Tekisha is committed to the expansion of optimal affordable telemedicine programs accessible for high-quality and cost-effective health care solutions. She is firmly focused on the integral delivery of interdisciplinary methodologies tailored for the enrollees, provider’s, and health entities to graciously benefit. Tekisha manages multiple roles as a faithful public servant, HEDIS Abstractor, and a devoted full-time doctorate student at Walden University. Email: [email protected]

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