Today’s healthcare is ever-changing changing. The urgent clinic plays an important role when it comes to matters pertaining training and research of what the public utilizes for their healthcare. There has been an increasing interest in transferring selected services to clinics outside of the hospital. The factors that have led to this process are: the perceived high cost of care at a hospital, the challenges of delivering hospital care especially where there are isolated populations, the belief that moving services out of hospitals will make them more accessible, therefore increasing responsiveness, follow-up care, and, patient choice (Wolper, 2011).
In many cases, people living within same geographical location as an outpatient clinic, have planned to have their healthcare closer to home (Shi ; Singh, 2014). Additionally, growing populations have influenced the decisions by the hospital to offer services out of the hospital. This is a way of getting closer to patients as well as satisfying all their needs at their convenience. Many elderly patients find it difficult to reach hospitals usually due to transportation and parking issues, clinics have begun offering outpatient services to support them, therefore increasing necessary follow-up care. (Shi ; Singh, 2014). The changes in clients’ preferences have also influenced the decision of healthcare providers to deliver outpatient services. Many patients prefer the ease and efficiency of being seen outside a hospital as it is flexible to the changing needs and is more convenient to go to an outpatient clinic that you can walk-in, rather than wait for an appointment in a hospital. Hospitals are investing in outpatient clinics offering these services to create more of a system, therefore decreasing the cost of operations and to assist patient’s needs.
The advantages of having care being offered outside the hospital setting is that it allows an individual to see any doctor or a facility that is within their network, without obtaining any referral first. This is a huge selling point as it not only gets the individual to see a provider quicker; it also keeps non-emergencies out of the Emergency Room in order to avoid the referral issue as well. In addition to that, care that is provided outside the hospital setting also allows one to select a doctor and this is not normally in the hospital setting. The networks of care offered outside the hospital setting are larger than those inside the hospital setting. The other advantage is that one has the option to choose the specialists directly since there is no need to go through a Primary Care Physician (PCP). It also enables the patient to make their own healthcare decisions as well as being admitted to any hospital that they choose.
The disadvantages of care outside the hospital setting can include that the patient may still pay full rate for physicians, as well as for clinics that are outside of their network. If the network happens not to reach a certain mark, most people feel they can simply go outside the network for care, however in-network practice most of the care that is outside the hospital settings makes it impractical to obtain care outside the network by setting high deductible and co-insurance.
As healthcare continues to grow more into a business, administrators continue to work with providers as to how they can capture more revenue. Although organizations to benefit, the consumers benefit more from this kind of setting as they have various options to choose from in terms of the physicians and providers that deliver their care as well as their preferred location for treatment. The consumers also benefit more as compared to organizations because of the variety of clinics to choose from. (Kovner, Knickman, Jonas, 2011).
The Affordable Care Act puts patients back in charge of their health care. Under the law, a new “Patient’s Bill of Rights” gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their own health care. The main goal of the Affordable Care Act is to lower the cost of health care; the organizations are likely to invest more on outpatient services to minimize the cost incurred by their patients in the hospitals. The Affordable Care Act will impact this trend by trying to reform the healthcare system by providing all Americans with quality health insurance that is affordable and reducing the growth of healthcare spending in the United States. Examples of these reforms are such as rights and protections. The Healthcare Act will also impact this trend by providing every Americans with insurance companies, taxes, tax breaks, and other things as well.
The Act will encourage a more alternative setting because it sets up a new competitive health insurance marketplace, giving millions of Americans access to group buying power and allowing them to compare plans and receive cost assistance. It also allows people with health insurance to have access to a number of new benefits, rights, and protections which ensure that they can get treatment when they need it, protecting consumers from some of the worse abuses of the health care and insurance industries (Harrington, and Estes, 2008).