The U.S. health care system is undergoing different changes aimed at its renewal and successful validation of the guidelines proposed by President Obama. These guidelines consider various aspects that allow enhancing the population’s access to health care resources, the efficacy of their distribution, equipment, and knowledge, and other aspects. At the same time, the successful implementations of the guidelines in each particular state should have its actual, realized counterparts in the sphere of medicine. It means that each state has specific strengths and weaknesses that lead to its positive or negative reaction to such interventions as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare and other federal and state regulations.
This paper investigates the economics of health care delivery in Florida and characterizes its health care systems as well as the aspects of environmental health. Moreover, it discusses such issues as the state’s epidemiology and health education, vulnerabilities of the local population, and available strategies for disaster management. This investigation allows for identifying the most critical problems that should be addressed in Florida regarding the health care sector of the economy. Consequently, the analysis may be used in order to enhance the efficacy of the contemporary health care strategies implemented by the government.
Economics of Health Care Delivery
It is critical to characterize the actual economic state of health care delivery in Florida for assessing its potential in meeting the requirements of the community. If the state lacks the resources regarding a specific issue connected with health care, it should be advocated by local and federal regulators. Florida has one of the largest and most diverse populations that constitute over 18 million citizens in total (“The Florida health care landscape,” 2013). As a result, it requires a significant pool of resources used for the efficient validation of the health care strategies suggested by the government and the President. However, it was ranked 33rd among the 50 states by the total population’s health, which includes such an aspect as the allocation of resources (“Florida. State public health statistics,” 2015).
This rank demonstrates that the demands of the state are poorly met by the suggested initiatives. Therefore, it is critical to characterize the health care sector of the state in order to determine the problems, which require immediate solutions. Their adequate and timely mitigation would increase the access to health care for the vulnerable population as well as improve its delivery and quality for all stakeholders.
Thus, the problems of the local health care sector are connected with insufficient medical coverage, which demonstrates that over 3.8 million citizens or 20% of the population of the state are uninsured (“The Florida health care landscape,” 2013). Moreover, such interventions as Medicare was implemented only for 21% while Medicaid, for 18% of the 80% of Floridians with health insurance (“The Florida health care landscape,” 2013). Therefore, this aspect directly influences the problems associated with the distribution of finances for medicine at the federal level.
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Health Care Systems
Furthermore, health-related information that is collected by health care agencies is an important component of health care systems. In order to monitor this information, government agencies implement such a tool as public health surveillance, which allows collecting and analyzing information from the governmental and non-governmental agencies connected to the health care sector. Thus, health risks are one of the most influential aspects that impact the state of health care in Florida. For example, in the past 10 years, there were recorded the high incidence of Salmonella, a 17% decrease in HPV immunization among females aged 13 to 17, and a 42% increase of child poverty (“Florida. State public health statistics,” 2015).
Moreover, some scholars claim that Central Florida suffers from a crisis connected with the increase of the mental illness epidemic (Santich & Kunerth, n.d.). Thus, the legislators of the state should use this information in order to adequately distribute financial resources for the mitigation of the discussed problems. At the same time, there is a need for enhancing the procedures of health care data collection by governmental agencies, which requires the creation of a single data pool shared by both governmental and non-governmental organizations.
In addition, special attention should be devoted to the monitoring of critical diseases, such as cancer, because of the high risk of mortality. This issue is of the utmost importance for Florida because the state is the second in the U.S. statistics compared to the other states in terms of cancer incidence (“Cancer,” n.d.). Florida addresses different types of cancer by means of developing the appropriate mitigation strategies at the local Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the same time, the strategies require an update because they focus mainly on breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer (“Cancer,” n.d.) lacking experience in dealing with the other types. However, state health care agencies cooperate with the American Cancer Society in order to fill the gaps in cancer prevention and treatment.
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One of the critical aspects associated with health care is environmental health because the state of environment directly impacts the well-being of the population as well as poses the risk of provoking specific diseases and conditions. As a result, federal agencies that are responsible for environmental conditions should constantly monitor the state of air, soil, and water in order to warn the community about potential threats. This issue may have a life-threatening perspective because pollution may eventually lead to serious health issues or even mortality (“About Florida’s air quality system,” 2016).
Therefore, when a threat is identified, it is advised to unite the resources of different organizations for the successful mitigation of the problem. In general, the state of the environment in Florida can be characterized as good because of high air quality index that ranges from 17 to 48 (“Florida air quality information,” 2016) and high quality of water resources that, nevertheless, show the potential for having the increased level of mercury (“Florida water quality assessment report,” 2016).
Finally, a significant impact on the environment is produced by different industries, which have to implement various technologies that would allow them to reduce the risks of damaging the environment. Thus, the state has different resource renewal and development programs that allow it to compensate for the damage to the environment (“South Florida Environmental Report 2013,” 2013). Therefore, the peculiarity of Florida’s health care system is that it is not affected by the environment but experiences social and financial problems.
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Another important aspect that contributes to the state of the community’s health is epidemiology that requires specific legislations for validating state and federal programs against different epidemics. Florida has a number of statutes that discuss the major aspects of epidemiological threats and allow their successful monitoring and mitigation. For example, the statutes 381.0031, 828.27, 585.61, 119.07, 384.25 among others regulate a vast majority of the aspects responsible for provoking different epidemics (“The 2016 Florida statutes,” 2016).
For example, they oblige animal control officers, wildlife officers, and animal disease laboratory operators to report about different bites of animals that have potentially dangerous diseases. Similarly, other legislations of this type regulate the spheres connected with bacteria, viruses, and other biological threats. As a result, one should state that the discussed aspects allow the state to maintain a stable and safe epidemiological situation.
Community health nursing significantly depends on health education because it allows informing the population of environmental or epidemiological threats. Similarly, they discuss the aspects of care and self-administration of different curative substances that allow the citizens to support their health and combat diseases in case of emergency. Thus, it is critical for any community to have different health education promoting programs that increase the awareness of the population of the identified issues. This aspect is thoroughly addressed in Florida as the state has numerous health education institutions and separate health education programs for the community at medical institutions.
For example, Florida Health Brevard Community provides different services that allow the population to increase knowledge and expertise regarding various diseases. One of its latest programs is the “Health Education and Risk Reduction Program” that provides information on sexually transmitted infections and is recommended for teenagers, parents, and single individuals (“Health education,” n.d.). Therefore, the community of Florida successfully implements different health education programs that assist health care institutions in terms of timely warning about different health issues.
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Community as a Client
In order to adequately assess the state of the community’s health, one also needs to consider different information available on the Internet. One of the most competent sources of relevant data in this respect is the website of the local department of health. Thus, Florida Health (“Florida Department of Health,” n.d.) encompasses vast amounts of information regarding the current epidemiological situation in the state, available community health care programs and services, regulations, and statistical data. The presented statistics should be considered in order to trace specific tendencies of the community’s health. For example, it contains the immunization section (“Florida Department of Health,” n.d.) that demonstrates the information provided by the national immunization survey that estimates immunization cover levels.
The analysis of the chart of immunization coverage allows stating that Florida has a significantly high ratio of immunization coverage that ranges approximately from 67% to 98% (“National Immunization Survey,” 2014). However, the hepatitis B vaccine covers estimate only 53,2% (“National Immunization Survey,” 2014) and require a thorough analysis of its causes. In addition, Florida Health presents other data, such as annual cancer reports and the state of environmental health, being a competent source for analysis of the health care issues of Florida.
The vulnerabilities of Florida’s population also require thorough investigation because nursing care services should be adequately delivered to the most vulnerable individuals. Thus, the categories of vulnerable people include the populations aged over 65, elderly people living alone, children under 18 in foster care, population below the poverty line, uninsured individuals, and people with chronic diseases and physical disparities (“Florida access and functional needs profile,” 2014).
Such classification allows stating that the health care legislators and community nursing leaders adequately address the needs of the vulnerable representatives of the community. This aspect is critical because the available resources for health care needs are distributed to meet the demands of all members of the community, including the vulnerable representatives. As a result, one can state that Florida has advanced accessibility of care, which allows directing health care resources to the representatives with particular needs.
Characterizing the efficacy of Florida’s disaster management programs is important because of the possible rapid uncontrolled negative impact on the health and well-being of the citizens. After the history of disasters, such as hurricane Katrina, the state created a profound system of disaster management initiatives that involve the creation of shelters, evacuation routes, and evacuation zones (“Florida Division of Emergency Management,” 2016). All these measures function along with different agencies and health care providers in order to reduce the negative impact of any disaster on the lives of the citizens.
Moreover, there are different emergency contact information systems in the state that allow people to consult with experienced specialists in case of emergency. The information centers ensure interaction and distribution of resources by such organizations as the Jefferson Bioterrorism and Disaster Preparedness Center, the Institute for Disaster and Emergency Preparedness, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, and other agencies. Therefore, one can state that the aspect of disaster management is completely covered in Florida providing the best level of protection to the population.
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To conclude, Florida’s health care regulators and nursing leaders perform different tasks that allow increasing their level of community orientation. As a result, the state has positive changes in such aspects as environmental safety, epidemiology, health education, disaster management, and care for the vulnerable population. In addition, the communities of Florida have increased accessibility to health care for the individuals who have medical coverage. Moreover, the expertise of the state in the sphere of disaster management allowed it to create an advanced system of protection of the population from the negative effects of various disasters and emergencies.
At the same time, there is a problem with the allocation of necessary resources that leads to the state’s rank of 33 among the other 50 states. A significant disadvantage of the policy of state and federal legislators is the fact that the major part of Florida’s population is reluctant to engage in the medical insurance programs. Furthermore, Florida ranks second among all states having a high incidence of cancer, which remains one of its major problems. As a result, many individuals increase the number of stakeholders who are characterized as the vulnerable population and require additional resources aimed at the increase of access to adequate care. Therefore, despite the fact that Florida has a positive experience in enhancing the quality of community-oriented nursing practice, the highlighted problems require the implementation of additional solutions proposed by the community nursing leaders.