The development of health policy can be challenging but actually implementing policies, once they become law can be even more challenging. This is due to the numerous legal, ethical, and financial management challenges associated with the implementation of various types of health policies. In addition to these challenges, conflicting ideas concerning what constitutes best management practices for successfully resolving those challenges can also complicate matters. Legal challenges include licensure portability, information disclosure, and mandated testing (Rutkow, Gable, & Links, 2011); ethical challenges include right of treatment, availability/accessibility of treatment, disclosure of knowledge concerning side effects, and ramifications of treatment (Mansour, 2011); and financial challenges include cost of treatment to patients and cost incurred by medical institutions (Richard, Witter, & Brouwere, 2010). This brief analysis will describe these eight legal, ethical, and financial challenges associated with the successful implementation of new policies regarding the delivery of healthcare as well as management practices that can help smooth the transition during the integration of the new policies into functioning practices.
Legal challenges like licensure portability, information disclosure, and mandated testing (Rutkow, Gable, & Links, 2011) are all complex issues that arise through the instigation of new healthcare policies and procedures. Licensure portability involves the right of medical practitioners to practice in states that they are not licensed in, especially in the event of an emergency (Rutkow, Gable, & Links, 2011). Information disclosure pertains to the patient’s right to privacy in regards to the details of their health status, especially when regarding the particulars of their mental health (Rutkow, Gable, & Links, 2011). Mandated testing includes institutional regulations necessitating regular practices like mental health screening or mandatory vaccinations for first response workers or healthcare workers. Best management practices for the implementation of procedural regulations without the threat of obstructions due to legalities can be achieved through programs designed to afford medical practitioners the opportunity to participate in emergency licensure portability programs, ensuring patient’s have a right to privacy and that their information remains secure, and that mandated testing is not invasive and does not violate the worker’s rights or that their results are not disclosed.
Ethical challenges pertaining to the patient’s right of treatment, the availability and accessibility of treatment, disclosure of knowledge concerning side effects, and the ramifications of treatment (Mansour, 2011) are all details pertaining to the safety of the patient. The patient’s right to treatment pertains to the obligatory aspects of pharmaceutical production and whether companies have a moral duty to make vital medications available to all people. This ethical dilemma also directly correlates to the availability and accessibility of treatments to patients and whether medical practitioners have an obligation to make sure the benefits of life-saving treatments are available to all that need it. Informing patients about the true nature of any side effects or ramifications that may follow treatment is also an issue of grave ethical concern within the medical community due to the many complications that can arise from the adverse effects of numerous pharmaceutical products. Organizational issues can either enhance or jeopardize the safe administration of patient treatment, which is why it is important for administration to enforce stringent procedural practices that stipulate full patient disclosure regarding the benefits and detriments of all medications prescribed and also enforce practices that include programs that makes vital medications or treatments available to all that may need it.
The financial challenges associated with cost of treatment to patients and cost incurred by medical institutions (Richard, Witter, & Brouwere, 2010) is a huge challenge facing many institutions. The cost of treatment to patients includes the fees patients pay to insurance companies as well as fees required by the medical facility providing the treatments. The cost incurred by the medical institution relates to costs of treatment development or obtaining the treatment from the companies that have developed it, fees paid to medical practitioners, and general costs of operation. The significant costs associated with medicinal practice makes the establishment of regulations intended to make treatment available to all a difficult process since such policies could mean billions of dollars in lost revenues resulting from the research and development of medical treatments. This would impose a substantial stumbling block in the path of the future development of effective treatment.
However, to augment the cost of life-saving medications and treatments to patients, many institutions have established policies that allow them to reduce the cost of treatment to patients that cannot afford it and medical practitioners have the option to practice in areas where the people do not have easy access to medical care. Fully resolving the legal, ethical, and financial challenges related to the implementation of policies and procedures in the healthcare industry is not something that can be achieved in a one solution fits all method and many institutions have to reevaluate methods and procedures to find strategies that work best with their employees and procedures.