Instructor’s name
November 2023
Name: Capella University

Needs Analysis for Change

In today’s healthcare landscape, addressing economic healthcare issues is paramount to ensuring equitable access, improving patient outcomes, and enhancing the overall sustainability of healthcare organizations. This assessment builds on previous work and aims to conduct a systematic evaluation, often referred to as a needs analysis, to identify the compelling need for change within a chosen healthcare unit, facility, or organization. Focusing on the economic healthcare issue of the rising cost of prescription drugs, the evaluation explores its profound impact on diverse groups and provides evidence-based reasoning for the pursuit of change and implementation plans (Dahlui et al., 2021). Anticipated outcomes, with a special emphasis on economic benefits for both patients and organizations, are examined, emphasizing the potential for growth and transformation within healthcare settings. This assessment underscores the importance of addressing economic healthcare challenges and the opportunities they present for improving healthcare delivery and patient well-being.

Summary of the Economic Issue of Rising Cost of Prescription Drugs 

The chosen economic issue of the rising cost of prescription drugs has a substantial impact on my work as a healthcare provider. It places an additional layer of complexity in patient care, as I regularly encounter elderly patients who struggle to afford the medications necessary for managing chronic conditions. This often results in delayed or neglected treatments, leading to worsened health outcomes and increased risks of preventable hospitalizations. This economic burden directly affects the quality of care I can provide and requires balancing the best possible treatment options with patients’ ability to afford their medications (Morgan et al., 2020).

At the organizational level, my healthcare facility experiences the financial implications of the rising cost of prescription drugs, particularly when serving patients from diverse or lower socio-economic backgrounds. This cost burden creates challenges related to reimbursement, resource allocation, and budget constraints, which can impact the quality and scope of healthcare services provided. Moreover, the broader community is affected by this issue, as individuals, particularly those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, face barriers in accessing necessary medications, exacerbating health disparities (Morgan et al., 2020). The gap contributing to this issue is the lack of comprehensive regulation within the pharmaceutical industry, which allows drug prices to escalate without adequate oversight or mechanisms to control pricing, ultimately affecting the health and financial stability of the elderly population and the broader community.

Socioeconomic and Diversity Disparities

Socioeconomic and diversity disparities are particularly pronounced when it comes to the impact of the rising cost of prescription drugs on different population groups. A study reveals significant disparities in the burden of high drug costs among older adults in the United States The study found that individuals from lower-income backgrounds, often from diverse populations, are more likely to experience difficulty in affording their prescription medications. It highlights that the economic issue disproportionately affects those who are already economically disadvantaged, leading to significant disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes (Daniel & Bornstein, 2019).

Moreover, racial and ethnic disparities also exist in the context of prescription drug costs. Public health data shows that minority populations, including African Americans and Hispanics, are more likely to face higher prescription drug costs and medication non-adherence due to economic constraints (Daniel & Bornstein, 2019). These disparities are indicative of the broader social determinants of health and health inequalities that are intricately linked with economic factors, reinforcing the urgent need to address the economic issue of rising prescription drug costs to achieve greater healthcare equity and access for all population groups.

Evidence-Based Sources

The evidence-based and scholarly sources provide a compelling case for addressing the economic issue of the rising cost of prescription drugs and the need to pursue change and implementation plans.

A study emphasizes the urgent need for change by highlighting the increasing financial burden placed on individuals and healthcare systems due to rising drug costs. It underscores that high drug prices lead to higher out-of-pocket expenses for patients and negatively impact adherence to prescribed medications. This evidence underlines the importance of pursuing changes in pricing structures and policies to ensure that patients can access and afford essential medications (Morgan et al., 2020).

Another study reveals that the lack of price controls and transparency in drug pricing exacerbates the problem, leading to disparities in access to medications. This source underscores the need for policy changes to address the pricing gap and ensure equitable access to affordable prescription drugs (Mello, 2020).

A systematic review demonstrates that high drug costs can lead to adverse health outcomes, including medication non-adherence and treatment discontinuation. This research reveals the significant impact of rising drug prices on patient health, making a strong case for implementing strategies to mitigate these consequences and improve health outcomes (Sensharma & Yabroff, 2019).

A survey presents evidence on the financial implications of high drug prices on healthcare organizations. The study suggests that increasing medication costs place a substantial financial burden on healthcare systems, affecting their ability to provide quality care and invest in necessary resources. This evidence supports the need for healthcare organizations to pursue changes in drug procurement and pricing strategies to ensure their financial sustainability while delivering high-quality care (American Hospital Association, 2019).

Incorporating the findings from these evidence-based and scholarly sources, it becomes evident that addressing the issue of rising prescription drug costs is essential. Implementing changes in pricing, policy, and access is crucial to alleviate the financial burdens on patients, improve health outcomes, and ensure the sustainability of healthcare organizations

Implementations Plans to Address Rising Cost of Prescription Drugs

The proposed change or implementation plan to address the rising cost of prescription drugs holds significant promise for generating positive outcomes and opportunities for growth.

Firstly, the implementation of policies to control and reduce prescription drug costs is expected to provide substantial economic benefits for patients. With more affordable medications, patients, especially those from diverse or lower socio-economic groups, will face reduced financial burdens, making it easier for them to adhere to prescribed treatment regimens. This, in turn, is likely to lead to better health outcomes, as patients will experience improved management of chronic conditions, reduced hospitalizations, and potentially even enhanced quality of life (Westerhof et al., 2022). Patients will no longer be forced to make difficult choices between essential medications and other basic necessities, ensuring that their economic well-being is better protected.

Furthermore, healthcare organizations are poised to benefit economically from this change as well. By addressing the rising costs of prescription drugs, organizations can allocate resources more efficiently and reduce the financial strain associated with providing costly medications to their patients. This will allow for greater financial stability, potentially enabling healthcare organizations to invest in new technologies, infrastructure, and staffing. Moreover, as patients become more adherent to their prescribed medications, organizations may witness a decrease in preventable hospitalizations and associated healthcare costs (Daniel & Bornstein, 2019). Overall, the change has the potential to lead to better economic health for both patients and healthcare organizations, fostering a more sustainable and equitable healthcare system.

Conclusion

The systematic evaluation of the economic healthcare issue of rising prescription drug costs has underscored the urgent need for change within healthcare settings. The disparities and economic burdens faced by diverse groups, especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, highlight the importance of addressing this issue to ensure equitable access and improved patient outcomes. The evidence-based rationale and the anticipated economic benefits for both patients and healthcare organizations make a compelling case for pursuing and implementing changes to mitigate the impact of rising drug costs. This assessment reinforces the notion that addressing economic healthcare challenges not only improves patient well-being but also fosters growth and transformation within healthcare settings, ultimately enhancing the quality and sustainability of healthcare delivery.

References

American Hospital Association. (2019). American Hospital Association homepage | AHA. American Hospital Association. https://www.aha.org/ 

Dahlui, M., Rochmah, T. N., Ernawaty, E., & Chalidyanto, D. (2021). Economic evaluation for health advocacy and informed policy. Jurnal Administrasi Kesehatan Indonesia, 9(2), 202. https://doi.org/10.20473/jaki.v9i2.2021.202-209 

Daniel, H., & Bornstein, S. S. (2019). Policy recommendations for public health plans to stem the escalating costs of prescription drugs: A position paper from the American college of physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 171(11), 825. https://doi.org/10.7326/m19-0013 

Mello, M. M. (2020). Barriers to ensuring access to affordable prescription drugs. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 60(1), 275–289. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010919-023518 

Morgan, S. G., Bathula, H. S., & Moon, S. (2020). Pricing of pharmaceuticals is becoming a major challenge for health systems. BMJ, 368, l4627. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4627 

Sensharma, A., & Yabroff, K. R. (2019). Do interventions that address patient cost-sharing improve adherence to prescription drugs? A systematic review of recently published studies. Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research, 19(3), 263–277. https://doi.org/10.1080/14737167.2019.1567335 

Westerhof, L., Misher, A., & Fulbright, A. (2022). Pharmacist strategies for addressing medication cost barriers to equitable health in primary care. JACCP: Journal of The American College of Clinical Pharmacy. https://doi.org/10.1002/jac5.1648 

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    NURS FPX 6610 Assessment 4

    Name Capella University FPX6610: Introduction

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    Name Capella University FPX6610: Introduction

    NURS FPX 6610 Assessment 2

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