Ohio is one of the states in the U.S. that continue to experience changes in healthcare delivery systems following the expansion of Medicaid, which primarily targets people who are not insured with other health insurance plans. Ohio has been at the center stage in streamlining programs that provide health and human services as well as the implementation of the new payment method in health care delivery systems. With over 11 million residents, the state is ranked seventh most populous in the U.S. The majority of the people of the state live in urban areas and the health care delivery system is devolved up to the local level where every county has its healthcare department tasked with ensuring effective healthcare delivery to locals (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2014). Warren County is one of the counties in the state and has healthcare departments at the county and local levels with various strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the delivery of healthcare to the local population.
Information on Local Health Department
I live in Warren County, Ohio, and thus, my local health department is Warren County Health District. The department’s address is 416 S. East Street, Lebanon, Ohio 45036. The department’s contact information is 513-695-1228, 513-695-2941-ENV Fax, and 513-695-2402-Nursing Fax. The department operates from Monday to Friday between 7.30 am and 4.00 pm. Its overall mission is to work towards building health communities every day (Warren County Health District, 2018). Its activities are also anchored on the pillars of prevention, promotion, and protection. Its services revolve around the prevention of the spread of various diseases across the community, promotion of healthy lifestyles among the population, and protection of the entire community from being exposed to numerous health risks. It is believed that Warren County Health District came into existence in the 1920s (Warren County Health District, 2018). The primary reason for its foundation was to respond to various epidemics at the time such as influenza (Warren County Health District, 2018). The department’s current health commissioner is Duane Stansbury who was appointed to the position in 2005. Stansbury’s predecessor was Dr. George Reed. The role of the public health nurse in community health is to foster illness and injury or disability prevention (Nies & McEwen, 2014). The public health nurse is also responsible for health as well as maintain the general health of the population. Warren City Health Department’s emergency planning components include command and control, interoperable communication, notification, public information and warning, epidemiological surveillance, mental health, prevention and control activities, workforce development, as well as inter-jurisdictional relationships. Certain services are not provided by the Warren City Health Department but ought to be added. For instance, it is important for the health department to engage in continual surveillance and appraisal of health care needs for comprehensive planning for health care delivery in the county and state at large.
Status of Health Care Reform Implementation in Ohio
There is no doubt that the state of Ohio is at the forefront when it comes to healthcare reform implementation. There have been arguments that the U.S. Senate should borrow ideas from Ohio’s General Assembly given the bold health care initiatives it has passed in recent years. One of the key figures in Ohio’s health care reform implementation was Governor John Kasich, who played a key role in the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program in 2013. Several years later, the State’s Medicaid rolls have expanded significantly by over 700,000 people. Reports indicate that Ohio’s Medicaid program provides healthcare for approximately 1.99 million residents of Ohio (Hederman, 2017). The biggest advantage of Medicaid is its cost-effectiveness with reports indicating that it costs approximately 20 percent lower than the private market’s insurance plans. Another aspect of health care reform implementation in Ohio is Medicare. Since its inception, Medicare has played a critical role in providing healthcare and financial security to several older Americans (Hederman, 2017). In Ohio, Medicare covers approximately 1.88 million residents with the argument that it is more cost-effective as compared to private insurance. Ohio’s healthcare reform implementation has been effective and has positively impacted community health in the state. The number of Ohio residents who were uninsured stood at 1.55 million in 2011, and 934,000 of this have gained health insurance coverage thanks to Ohio’s health reform implementation.
Effects of Economics in Health Care
In the United States, like in several other countries, the economy has an influence on the healthcare sector’s prospect such as employment, financial access to care and health outcomes, as well as health coverage and costs. Research shows that in periods when economic crises are witnessed, employers focus is always on changing health care benefits for employees and offering cost-sharing provisions (Rice, 2013). Economic aspects affect health care in various ways. For instance, economic opportunity motivates and enables citizens to invest in the health sector. During good economic times, the federal government encourages and offers financial support to individuals allowing them to establish private health care facilities that help to realize long-term health care objectives of the United States. Economic aspects can also have a significant impact on insurance coverage and cost. It can impact health insurance coverage by either raising or lowering health premiums, which is likely to destabilize access to health insurance. The economy also adversely affects health care practitioners and health care organizations. This is highlighted by the fact that during times of economic recession, patients hardly seek inpatient services (Rice, 2013). Also, during such times, practitioners encounter a large number of patients who are not in a position to pay for care services. This reduces the incomes for the health care organizations that translates to compromised compensation for care providers.
In sum, Ohio is one of the states in the U.S. that continue to face changes in health care delivery systems. The state’s health care functions are devolved to the county level with counties such as Warren County having active health departments. Warren County’s health department is known as Warren County Health District, which plays a crucial role in the delivery of health care services to locals. It is headed by Duane Stansbury. It offers crucial services revolving around environmental health, vital statistics, and public health. It also offers emergency planning services. Like every other county’s health department, Warren County’s health department has various strengths and weaknesses that impact the delivery of care services.
Hederman, R. (2017, June 28). Ohio is blazing the trail on healthcare reform. Retrieved from https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/healthcare/339889-ohio-is-blazing-the-trail-on-healthcare-reform
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2014, August 05). The Ohio Health Care Landscape. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/medicaid/fact-sheet/the-ohio-health-care-landscape/
Nies, M. A., & McEwen, M. (2014). Community/Public Health Nursing-E-Book: Promoting the Health of Populations. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Rice, T. (2013). The behavioral economics of health and health care. Annual review of public health, 34, 431-447. Retrieved from https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031912-114353
Warren County Health District. (2018). Our Mission & History. Retrieved from http://warrenchd.com/about/our-mission-history