Professional Development

 Professional Development Professional Development

Given the increasing longevity of Americans and the costs of providing long-term care, the anticipation of the costs should be a major element of every family’s financial planning. Current information suggests however, that very few families or individuals give this consideration. What factors might impede this advance planning?

What measures might be effective in raising awareness among Americans about this important matter?
Identify the major factors that have resulted in the shift in utilization from inpatient hospitalization to ambulatory care services. What are the implications of this shift for hospitals, consumers, and the health care delivery system as a whole?

The recipients of mental health services in the US represent only a small percentage of those in need of services. Discuss the factors that impede access to mental illness treatment.
Each response should be 500-1000 words
APA formatting required
Although each response is a separate essay of 500-1000 words, all responses should be combined into a single document for submission



 Professional Development

 According to a study to statistics provided by Centers for Disease control and Prevention, the life expectancy of the average American stands at 78.8 years. This move represents a steady increase in the life expectancy among all Americans (CDSP, 2016). Additionally, the costs of long-term are steadily rising with one of the private nursing home room asking for close to $100,000 per year.

Long-term care involves the need for assistance with activities that form the daily living (Heritage, 2013).  To deal with the rising cost of long-term care, families should be anticipating this cost as part of the financial planning that will be done by the family. Despite the importance of this practice, very few families are using it in their planning.

Factors That Impede Planning

Several factors have been advanced to explain why some of the families that should be engaging in advance long-term health care planning are having a hard problem doing so. One of the hurdles is the psychological denial of the fact that at one time, one will require assistance with basic activities such as bathing.

Although most people are open to the idea that such care is important, they are not willing to admit that they can be in the bracket that will need this care. Another hurdle is the constant concern over insurance. The high premiums that are associated with these plans and the rates which are mostly unpredictable may discourage some of the people who have retirement incomes that are fixed.

Additionally, some of the people do not have the bright information about the role of the long-term care plans. Some of the people see the plans as a supplement of Medicaid due to the marketing method that is used. Finally, some of the applicants to the long-term care plans are denied coverage is a result of family history and their personal health.

Sue of the people does not even bother to apply as they foresee that their applications will be denied. The overriding reason that is advanced by most people is the lack of proper information in the manner in which the long-term care plans operate.

Measures of Raising Awareness about the Importance of Advance Long-Term Care Planning

Among the measures that could raise awareness on the importance of advance long-term care, planning are efforts that have already being used in several states to encourage people to get concerned about long-term care planning? The efforts were implemented by the department of health and human services (DHHS). The campaign targeted the states of Arkansas, Nevada, New Jersey and Virginia.

The campaign rolled out in phases with the first face of the campaign which was named owns your future. Under this phase, every household that had an adult aged 50 years and above received a letter and a brochure pertaining long-term care planning. Additionally, the families were given a toll-free line with which they could call to request a free long-term care planning toolkit.

The families then received follow-up postcards that reminded them of the long-term care planning kit. There were also paid adverts on the radios and television that emphasized on the need for long-term care planning. The campaign was a benchmark and a flag bearer in the way awareness cab be raised on the need for people to acquire long-term care plans.

The results of the campaign showed promise of future change if such and other measures are employed. The department received an average of 8% request on the long-term care planning kit. This was more than what the department had set out to achieve; the department had approximate a request of about 5% on average (ASPE, 2014).

The result, therefore, shows that the means that were applied in this campaign are both useful and effective and should be replicated in other states and areas that the campaign did not reach. If the campaign was to be set for the country as a whole, the average increase in the number of new applicants would be both encouraging and beneficial for safer futures of the citizens.

However, in addition to the measures employed by the DHHS, though successful, are just tips of what could be done. The primary focus of any awareness is the relatives and the friend if the elderly. They know the importance of the long-term planning first hand. Making information about the long-term care planning available to these people is essential in ensuring that the older citizens effectively adopt the long-term care plans that are available.

Factors That Have Caused the Shift from Inpatient Hospitalization to Ambulatory Care Services

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the US have continued to report a flat rate and even in some cases a decline in the growth of inpatients. The slowdown on these numbers has been a record low in the US. Although this has reduced the spending on hospitals by the government, it has come at the cost of reduced earnings of the medical advice companies and the laboratories that provide services and supplies to these institutions. The reasons that have been advanced to explain the shit include the following.

Outpatient Surgery

In the earlier years, surgeries were almost entirely performed on an inpatient basis. However, smaller hospitals began using ambulatory services in performing complex surgeries since the hospitals could only cater for minor surgeries. The use of more advanced medication in surgery that requires less time of recovery has also necessitated the change to outpatient care. The view that outpatient surgeries are less disruptive of the normal lives of most people since most of the ambulatory services is performed in standalone facilities away from the main health facilities.


The rise and consequent growth of home care beyond the walls of the hospital have had an impact on the shift to ambulatory services. This development of home care has been in two form which is; growth in the number of home care programs and growth in the number of visits per program. These two aspects have had a major impact the preference of ambulatory services. The most demand for this type of care came as a result of working families not having the time to care for their loved ones but still wanting to keep them close. Additionally, the need to keep a close eye on the patients necessitated the development of home care.

Delivery and Quality

The quality of services in ambulatory care has been shown to be better than in most inpatient programs. For example, the effect of drugs in the ambulatory care programs after ambulatory surgery is lower and the recovery time in such a setup is better and quicker that the inpatient programs.

The services of an ambulatory care program are also more personal and friendlier than those in the inpatient programs. Additionally, most of the ambulatory care programs are innovation driven and use the most up to date technology and procedures to ensure that the quality is always improved.

Implications of the Shift from Inpatient Hospitalization to Ambulatory Care Services

The shift from inpatient hospitalization to ambulatory care services has had implications for the hospitals, consumers of these services and the whole of the health care delivery system. Some of these implications include the following.

Coordination and Integration of Care

The increased use of ambulatory services of care has led to a more fragmented system of care delivery. The high number of units of care which are branded urgent care providers has resulted in a system of the uncoordinated system of care. Units that developed as sidelines of main hospitals have now become a buzz or units that are too divided to be coordinated.

Financing and Access

The movement from inpatient programs to the ambulatory system has created a means by which the health care system as a whole can save money. Additionally, the high dispersion of the units of health care provision has improved access to healthcare services that would have otherwise being accessed in the established inpatient care programs. However, this increase in the ease of access to health care facilities has created a strain in the access to financing sources for those who are seeking the ambulatory services in the new institutions.

Other Related Implications

Some of the other related implications of the shift to ambulatory care services include; a focus on the wellness of the patients other than the treatment of the illness, an increase in the access to preventive and primary care, more patient-friendly programs have also developed, increased accountability of the care provider since they are in a direct relation with the patient and lastly better quality health care services in general.

Factors That Impede Access to Mental Illness Treatment

The people who can access mental healthcare services in the US are only a small fraction of all the people who deserve the care (Goldsmith, 2002). Some of the factors that are leading to this phenomenon include the following;

Stigma and Discrimination

This is one of the most common factors that are hindering access to mental health care by those affected. Stigma refers to the prejudices and the general judgment of character that if dispensed on the people who come forward with mental illness. These prejudgments cause them to have fear and feel as though they are rejected in the society. This can effectively lead them to commit suicide instead of seeking proper care.

Financial Barriers

The cost that is incurred in the seeking of this care is one of the most cited barriers by experts (Goldsmith, 2002). An analysis of the people who come forward and seek treatment for their mental illnesses, Th use of the medication that is prescribed is dependent on the price of the medication. A rise in the cost of the medication leads to the lesser use of the medication.

Mental Health System Barriers

The fragmentation of the mental health care facilities has been pinpointed as a barrier to Th effective access to mental healthcare treatment. The people who come forward to seek attention for their mental health problems often have to bear long and compels process that are characteristic of the fragmented care that is being offered in the mental health care institutions. These long processes have reacted in frustrations by those seeking the same care.


ASPE. (2014, June 15). Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy . Retrieved from Department of health and human services:

CDSP. (2016, April 20). Changes in Life Expectancy by Race and Hispanic Origin in the United States, 2013–2014. Retrieved from Centres for disease control and prevention:

Goldsmith, S. K. (2002). Reducing suicide: A national imperative. National Academic Press.

Heritage. (2013, February 6). The Long-Term Care Financing Crisis. Retrieved from Heritage:

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