Downside of health care rationing

Healthcare Rationing
PH350 Medical Ethics Fall 2011
Presented by: Jennifer Johnson, Vivian Jones, Elizabeth Lewis,
Victoria Howe, & Jennifer Hutt
Click Here for Voice Thread Presentation
Topics To Address
Nurse and Doctor’s Role
Current Strategies for Rationing
How HC Rationing is Managed
Is it Ethical
What happens when there is no rationing
Rationing is the limitation and
allocation of certain products or
Healthcare rationing is defined as the limitation of access to or the equitable
distribution of medical services, through various gatekeeper controls.
HC Rationing takes place when a treatment is denied by health care provider or
insurance company.
Decision-making by healthcare workers is based on:
who needs the resource most
which treatment has the maximum benefit or outcome to society/population
which is cost effective
Nurse and Doctor’s Role
Code of Ethics- Provision 1
“The nurse, in all professional relationships, practices with compassion and
respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness of every individual,
unrestricted by considerations of social or economic status, personal attributes,
or the nature of health problems.”
Code of Medical Ethics
Opinion 2.03 -Allocation of Limited Medical Resources
“A physician has a duty to do all that he or she can for the benefit of the individual patient.
Policies for allocating limited resources have the potential to limit the ability of physicians to
fulfill this obligation to patients. Physicians have a responsibility to participate and to
contribute their professional expertise in order to safeguard the interests of patients in
decisions made at the societal level regarding the allocation or rationing of health resources.
Decisions regarding the allocation of limited medical resources among patients should
consider only ethically appropriate criteria relating to medical need.”
Current Strategies to Ration
Public Policy
Organizational Level
Clinical Level
Examples of Rationing
Going to a doctor for treatment and
paying for prescriptions
Going to the drug store and getting over
the counter remedies.
Limiting the doctors you may visit
because fees are negotiated with specific
Charging co-pays and deductibles.
How is Healthcare Rationing
Private Insurance Companies
Private Insurance Companies
For-profit industry
2011- 60 million Americans
2014- 76 million Americans
State income is averaged
The federal government matches based on an
estimated national average.
This means lower income states that need
more subsidizing for Medicaid & Medicaid
actually receive less money than states with a
higher median income
Is It Ethical?
Three Basic Ethical Precepts:
Individual Autonomy
Distributive Justice
Is It Ethical ?
Limit to the available health care
Health care will have to be
allocated to those who need or
want it.
Everyone cannot get all they
need or want.
The Pros to Healthcare Rationing
“You can treat some of the people all of the time or all
of the people some of the time, but you cannot treat
all of the people all of the time.”
Healthcare resources are limited.
Importance of Rationing
About 43 million Americans are uninsured. This leads to low quality care and negative
health in the uninsured.
The U.S. is the only industrialized country that cannot guarantee access to healthcare for
all its citizens.
The U.S. healthcare system is the most expensive in the world, however limits more
people to its access than any other industrialized country in the world.
HC costs will continue to rise
Technology advances
Aging Population
Conception that HC is a market good
The Cons to Healthcare Rationing
No predetermined plan that addresses how resources
should be allocated. Without such a plan providers are
becoming “gatekeepers.” It is an act of balancing the
limited resources depended on morbidity and finances.
Without a predetermined plan the providers find
themselves in a position having to make decisions to
award or deny services.
If Healthcare Rationing Did
Not Exist . . .
Government-mandated procedures will likely reduce
doctor flexibility and lead poor quality patient care.
 Less incentive to pursue medical-related research,
development, and investment.
Loss of private practice options and possible reduced
pay may dissuade many would-be doctors from pursuing
the profession.
Healthy people who take care of themselves will have to
pay for the burden of those who smoke, are obese, and
have more complicated health care problems
If Healthcare Rationing Did
Not Exist . . .
Patients may be subjected to
extremely long waits for treatment.
Health care services may end up
being rationed by the government.
Increased government taxing and
restrictions will lead to loss of
personal freedoms.
Due to the combination of increase healthcare
costs and the number of uninsured it is evident
that healthcare rationing must be implemented.
It is seemingly impossible to rid healthcare
allocation for the reason that the number of
uninsured and the cost of healthcare will only
continue to grow.
In today’s goal for healthcare is to provide
affordable healthcare for all, however no
objectives are in place to meet this goal.
Everyone deserves to be treated equally, however
resources are not unlimited.
The U.S. cannot afford healthcare unless
limitations are placed on it. HC rationing must
Now Click Here to
Quiz your
1) American Medical Association. (2011). AMA Code of Medical Ethics: Opinion 2.03- Allocation
of Limited Medical Resources. Retrieved December 11, 2011. http://www.ama
ethics/ (This website addresses the medical profession’s ethical stance on the allocation of
limited medical resource).
2) The American Nurses Association. (2001). Code of Ethics With Interpretive Statements:
Provision One. Retrieved December 11. 2011.
es/Code-of-Ethics.pdf (In the ANA Code of Ethics the reader understands the ethical stance of the professional
3) Andre, Claire. (2010). Aged-based healthcare rationing. Santa Clara University. ( This article discusses America's aging society and
how healthcare rationing effects the elderly and also the rest of the population).
4) Barr,D.A. 2002. “Where Do We Go From Here?” In Introduction to U.S. Health Policy: The
Organization, Financing, and Delivery of Healthcare in America, 223-37. San Farncisco:
Benjamin Cummings. (Interesting quote related to healthcare rationing).
5) Brook, D. W., Rationing: Health Care Cost Monitor: Why It Is Ethical. The Hasting Center (2009)
Retrieved November 20, 2011 from (This article discusses why healthcare rationing is important and inevitable).
6) Cookson, R., & Dolan, P.: Principles of justice in health care rationing, J. Med. Ethics. 2000;26;323-329
doi:10.1136/jme.26.5.323 (This reference discusses in the principle of justice and it applied by healthcare
professionals or clinicians everyday rationing decisions).
7) Callahan, D., “Rationing: Theory, Politics, and Passions,” Hastings Center Report 41, no. 2
(2011): 23-27. Campbell, D. (2011, 8 9). Column: Ration health care with Medicare
credits . Retrieved 12 9, 2011, from USA TODAY:
09-medicare-healthcarereform-ration_n.htm (This article discusses how our society would function with and
without Medicare).
8) Canadian Medical Association: Can rationing possibly be rational? Canadian Medical Association Journal, August 9,
2011, 183(11) (This article discusses a parent who was not happy about the rationing decisions by healthcare
professionals when treating her child, questioning the rationality of “healthcare rationing).
9) Crowe, Mary Lind. Allocation of Healthcare Resources at the Point of Care: An Ethical Dilemma
for Healthcare Providers. (2010). The Journal of Legal Medicine. 31, p455–465. (This journal article introduces
the ethical dilemma for healthcare providers in regards to allocating healthcare resources. It discusses the
current strategies used for rationing resources.)
10) Eboch, J. (2010, 1 4). Health Care Rationing in Virginia: A “Success” Story . Retrieved 12 9, 2011, from Tenth
Amendment Center:
success-story/ (An example of the failed healthcare rationing in a specific case in Virginia).
11) Floyd, Elizabeth J. (2003). Healthcare Reform Through Rationing. Journal of Healthcare
Management. 48:4, p.234. (This journal discusses the need and importance of healthcare rationing in the U.S.)
12) Gaudine, A., LeFort, S. M., Lamb, M., Thorne, L.: Clinical ethical conflicts of nurses and physicians. Nursing Ethics
(2011): 18(1) (This article elaborates on the ethical conflicts and dilemmas in healthcare professionals
faced with making healthcare rationing decisions. It also addresses the code of ethics of autonomy, beneficence,
and justice).
13) Healthcare Rationing is Good. (2009). The Baseline Scenerio: Word Press. Retrieved
December 11, 2011.
good/ (This article provides the reader with the current healthcare debate over cost inflation, healthcare
infrastructure, and proposals for providing quality care).
Medicaid and Chip Provide Health Coverage to Nearly Sixty Million Americans. (2011). Retrieved on December 02,
2011. (This source has figures along with various other information about
Medicaid how it works, and various information about the program, benefits, and information to determine
qualification about its programs).
15) Messerli, J. (2011, 11 16). Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans? Retrieved
on December 9, 2011, from
(Information on the pros and the cons of providing free health care for Americans).
16) Povar, G., Blumen, H., Daniel, J., Daub, S., Evans, L., Holm, R., & ... Campbell, A. 2004). Ethics in practice: managed
Care and the changing health care environment: medicine as a profession managed care ethics working group
statement. Annals Of Internal Medicine, 141(2), 131-136. (Discusses ethical rational used to ration health care
services by medical professionals, patients, and health care organizations).
17) Romeo, J. (2010). Contemporary topics in health care. Rationing. What is the future of health care rationing? PT In
Motion, 2(1), 26-31. (This article is about current healthcare rationing issues and possible future solutions that
are being looked into).
18) Russell, B. (2002). Health-care rationing: critical features, ordinary language, and
meaning. Journal Of Law,
Medicine & Ethics, 30(1), 82-87. Singer, P. (2009, July 15). Why We Must Ration Health Care. Retrieved on
December 9, 2011, from NYTimes: (This article explores healthcare rationing and important characteristics of the
system in America.)
19) Singer, Peter. (2009). Why we must ration healthcare. The New York Times. MM38.
(This is an opinion article written in a newspaper about healthcare rationing and how services are distributed
within this system. It also discusses how healthcare is financed and people's perceptions of healthcare rationing).
20) Tennant , M. (2011). The New American. Retrieved on November 28, 2011. (The New
American discusses Medicaid rationing techniques used among different states).
21) Torrey, T. (2008). Retrieved on December 01, 2011. (Defines and gives examples of
different types of rationing. The article goes on to describe and give examples of rationing by self, government,
and private insurance companies).
22) Villarreal, P. (2006, July 31). Federal Medicaid Funding Reform. Retrieved on December 02, 2011. (Describes how the budget is determined for Medicaid and Medicare
funding in the United States).

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