Healthcare Technology Featured Article

March 24, 2023

How Health Economics is Shaping Healthcare in the US

The healthcare industry is always in the spotlight in some way or another, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, cracks, flaws and shortfalls were highlighted in a way that has never been seen before. With states across the country working to satisfy the healthcare needs of their patients, the focus has shifted to health economics. What is health economics and how is it playing a huge role in shaping the type and quality of healthcare people receive now and in the future? Let’s examine it closer.

What Does Health Economics Mean?

Health economics may sound like a fancy new term, but it isn’t anything new, and it’s meant to simplify a rather broad topic. Health economics refers to the entire economic concept that relates to the industry as a whole. It allows leaders to figure out how to best allocate funds and resources to the various healthcare facilities so that the patients’ needs are always able to be met.

There are plenty of players in health economics besides just the patient, as there are other groups that also have an interest in how money and budgets are spent. Others affected by health economics are health care providers which are the facilities and the staff, the producers of health equipment and tools, regulators and health insurance companies. Making one change can create a ripple effect, as it will touch each group.

This Opened the Door for Healthcare Economists

Because the economy is such a complex system, it takes professionals to make sense of past, current and future trends, charting the most beneficial course. These are economists and most people are familiar with their role in the financial industry. This focus on health economics has now opened the door to a new type of economist and that’s the healthcare economist.

As a healthcare economist, your job is to figure out how medical resources will be allocated. You also need to figure out how to do so in the most cost-effective and efficient way. There are healthcare economists in the private and public healthcare industries. Some of the common things a healthcare economist will look at are how to create a better-trained workforce, how to build a bigger workforce, the best way to allocate medical professionals, how to deal with the rising cost of healthcare, and funding issues.

Because this is such a complex job, a master's in applied economics will serve them well, teaching them the foundations they will need to excel in their role.

It's a New Way of Making a Difference in the Medical Industry

Health economics will continue to play a massive role in determining the type, quality, level and location of healthcare. With that said, it has also given people a new way to make a difference in people's lives. You don’t have to be a doctor or nurse to have an impact in the medical industry. With budgets always being tight, the baby boomer generation aging and requiring more care, finding ways to allocate resources has never been more important.

As you look at how important healthcare economics are, it’s clear that the healthcare industry continues to evolve and respond to the pressing issues of the day.

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