Health care reform- is for the most part, governmental policy that affects health care delivery in a given place. Health care reform typically attempts to:
Broaden the population that receives health care coverage through either public sector insurance programs or private sector insurance companies
Expand the array of health care providers consumers may choose among
Improve the access to health care specialists
Improve the quality of health care
Give more care to citizens
Decrease the cost of health care
Patient satisfaction is particularly important in the management of degenerative cervical radiculopathy (DCR) since it leads to significant neck pain and disability primarily affecting the patients' quality of life.
To determine the association of baseline and 12-mo Neck Disability Index (NDI) with patient satisfaction after elective surgery for DCR.
The Quality Outcomes Database cervical module was queried for patients who underwent elective surgery for DCR. A multivariable proportional odds regression model was fitted with 12-mo satisfaction as the outcome. The covariates for this model included patients' demographics, surgical characteristics, and baseline and 12-mo patient reported outcomes (PROs). Wald-statistics were calculated to determine the relative importance of each independent variable for 12-mo patient satisfaction.
The analysis included 2206 patients who underwent elective surgery for DCR. In multivariable analysis, after adjusting for baseline and surgery specific variables, the 12-mo NDI score showed the highest association with 12-mo satisfaction (Waldχ2-df = 99.17, 58.1% of total χ2). The level of satisfaction increases with decrease in 12-mo NDI score regardless of the baseline NDI score.
The study identifies 12-mo NDI score as a very influential driver of 12-mo patient satisfaction after surgery for DCR. In addition, there are lesser contributions from other 12-mo PROs, baseline Numeric Rating Scale for arm pain and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade. The baseline level of disability was found to be irrelevant to patients. They seemed to only value their current level of disability, compared to baseline, in rating satisfaction with surgical outcome 1).
A review, in contrast, focuses on ethical issues of particular importance to neurosurgeons, especially with respect to potential changes in the physician-patient relationship that may occur in the context of health care reform.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 (H.R. 3590) was not the first attempt at health care reform in the United States but it is the one currently in force. Its ambitions include universal access to health care, a focus on population health, payment reform, and cost control. Each of these aims is complicated by a number of ethical challenges, of which 7 stand out because of their potential influence on patient care: the accountability of physicians and surgeons to individual patients; the effects of financial incentives on clinical judgment; the definition and management of conflicting interests; the duty to preserve patient autonomy in the face of protocolized care; problems in information exchange and communication; issues related to electronic health records and data security; and the appropriate use of “Big Data.”Systematic social and economic reforms inevitably raise ethical concerns. While the ACA may have driven these 7 to particular prominence, they are actually generic. Nevertheless, they are immediately relevant to the practice of neurosurgery and likely to reflect the realities the profession will be obliged to confront in the pursuit of more efficient and more effective health care 2).