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Economics of Health Care Delivery

Factors that influence the cost of health care include inflation, changes in population demography, technology, and intensity of services. The aging population is expected to affect health services more than any other demographic factor.

Jefferson County is rural area with several small towns scattered throughout the large county. More than half of the population are over the age of 65 and have incomes below the poverty level. You are a community health nurse specialist hired to help Jefferson County prepare for the increased need for health services.

You decide to implement a program that would open several nursing clinics operated by nurse practitioners and registered nurses. The nursing clinics will specialize in geriatric care and be located in easily accessible areas for Jefferson County residents. The nurse practitioners will provide primary care and referral services, and the registered nurses will provide health promotion education.

1. When developing and implementing your program, what microeconomic and macroeconomic factors do you need to be aware of because of their possible influence on your program?

2. How can you evaluate the economic effectiveness of your program?

3. Which of the following methods for providing healthy nutrition education to Jefferson County will be most efficient? Which will be the most effective method? Write a paragraph explaining your answer.

A. Hold morning and evening educational sessions at the nearby community center.

B. Set out informational pamphlets in the nursing clinic waiting room.

C. Provide in-home, one-on-one education, demonstration, and follow-up with high-risk individuals already being followed at the center.