Health care Assignment

Ethics and the healthcare business

            The doctor-patient relationship has historically remained lopsided, making it impossible for patients to exercise the same pro-activeness and rational in other market settings (Arrow, 2004). The relationship is built on trust, vulnerability, and intimacy where both patients and doctors face uncertainties about the decision or action in a life-threatening situation. The transaction is generally dictated from one side with very few options for dialogue or counteroffers. Despite their social status, education, or legal emphasis on ethics, patients are vulnerable and solely depend on the physician’s advice and directions in regards to their health.

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            On the other hand, the provision of healthcare is first and foremost a business and therefore must aim at making profits. As stipulated in the ACHE policy statements, healthcare facility headsmust be evaluated in terms of accountability, leadership effectiveness and the delivery of set objectives (Bowen, & Weil, 2011). According to the ACHE policies, the performance of a facility should be evaluated based on relevant data that relates to achievements within a community, the facilities, and general business margins. One ACHE policy statement that comes into mind is the one titled “Health Information Confidentiality”, which requires healthcare executives to provide a balance between ease of healthcare information access and patient privacy. The difficulties in striking this balance sometimes lead to two major ethical problems: violations of patient privacy and denial of the right to information access.

Focus here is the facility’s ability to remain profitable while offering quality service. This may lead to ethical issues and conflicts with the nature of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Act has provisions meant to regulate privately owned health facilities to protect the public from exploitation (Rosenbaum, 2011). There arises a conflict of interest in the healthcare management teams between prioritizing the more costly forms of treatment for maximum profits and the genuine need to provide the best healthcare to a patient population with limited bargaining power.

References

Arrow, K. J. (2004). Uncertainty and the welfare economics of medical care. Bulletin of the World Health Organization82(2), 141-150.

Bowen, D. J., & Weil, P. A. (2011). Examining the code. ACHE’s code of ethics highlights challenges faced by healthcare leaders. Healthcare executive26(4), 39-42.

Rosenbaum, S. (2011). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: implications for public health policy and practice. Public health reports126(1), 130-135.

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