America’s Health Care Environment in the 1990s
General Introductory Stat
Dynamic change characterizes the American health care environment in the 1990s. Within such an environment, care providers and support organizations must develop and implement new and effective strategies if they are to remain viable entities.
The changes in the health care environment result from a combination of factors (increasing costs of health care, changing societal values, advances in treatment therapies, technological innovation, changing demographics, and many others). Cost is a major factor involved in changes in the delivery of health care delivery and support services. It is, therefore, imperative for health care delivery and support organizations to develop procedures that will lead to more effective and more efficient operations.
When health care delivery and support organizations implement changes designed to lead to more effective and more efficient operations, the human resource complement in the health care field is inevitably affected. When governments change regulations affecting the functioning of health care delivery and support organizations, again the human resource complement in the health care field is inevitably affected.
Regardless of how laudable changes implemented by health care delivery and support organizations or government may be in intent, such changes may also be highly disruptive for specific
components of the health care sector, and such disruption may lead to serious human resource management problems. Just such a situation now exists with respect to the medical technology support function in health care (Passiment, 1993, p. 3). Governmental requirements governing the work of medical laboratories impose burdensome administrative requirements on the laboratories and the medical technicians who work in those laboratories (Albertson, 1993a, pp. 21, 23). Simultaneously, tightening of reimbursement payment criteria by government and other third party funders create a financial env…