MHA618: Health Economics

Final Paper

Building on the work you completed in Weeks Two and Four, you will complete a feasibility study based on a pre-approved health care project of your choice. Using the feasibility study outlined in the Daniels and Dickson (1990) article as a model, and including a minimum of six other scholarly sources, create a 12- to 15-page feasibility study that includes the following headings and supporting information:

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Evaluating Feasibility
The concept of a feasibility study is central to viability, the “worth to the effort” ratio, and return on investment (ROI). What needs to be taken into consideration to create a feasibility study (e.g., human resources, community needs, and technological advances, federal and state regulatory issues)? Within this section, you will research and design an economical health care service that is responsive to a given market. This research stems from understanding your target population and present need in health services. Furthermore, as you have seen from the Daniels and Dickson (1990) article, you must appraise your human resources, capital investment, and how your effort will yield a return on investment from a facilities perspective as well as the tangible greater good of providing healthcare to a community.

Strategic Effect
Analyze the role of public policy with regard to your project. What policies and processes should be in place to create an effective program? How will you measure the effectiveness of your program and your provision of health care services? Develop a microeconomic model that is responsive to the specific health care service demands of your target population. For example, the current trend of the medical home model, which allows for the coordination of care, allows for better communication among service providers as well as convenience for patients. Is the population a market priority? How does your program serve a need for your target population?

Market Analysis
Within this section you will identify the population demographics, who your competitors are, and whether or not a real need for the services you are proposing exists in the community. As you examine the demographic and population needs using Census data and other reliable sources, you must also consider what competitors, if any, exist in the present climate. This requires an evaluation of the present socioeconomic and cultural trends influencing how people make decisions in health care. In addition, in this analysis you will need to compare and contrast economic challenges and incentives among health care’s organization models. This comparison requires an understanding of past challenges and incentives that other organizations have implemented.

Financial Analysis
This section includes the revenue, expenses, and net income. Compare and contrast economic challenges and incentives by finding and describing multiple sources of public and private funding (e.g., grants, donations, awards, special projects) for this project. Include a reference list for your funding sources that is formatted in APA as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Next, identify the funding constraints for each source. Include limitations of monies awarded, timing issues, fitting the needs of the funding sources, difficulties of connecting with private funders, etc. Finally, specify the internal ramifications of moving forward using SWOT analysis. What are the fixed and variable costs associated with your project? What are the annual maintenance and operation costs? Elaborate on how you arrived at your sensitivity analysis conclusions.

Operations Performance
This section examines the incremental effect of how your proposed service will impact all aspects of health services. This portion of the study explores how the statistical data you have researched affects the proposed service in terms of efficiency and value. This can be difficult to measure initially. However, through incremental and ongoing evaluation of operations, you can begin to see what constitutes the best performance in this instance and how it serves the target population. In this section, you will further illustrate the incentives and challenges faced by a health organization and communicate the relevance of economics within the U.S. health care system as it pertains to your proposed services.

Inpatient
If your proposed study has an inpatient component, this section will analyze on volume of patients, types of payers, and how utilization rates impact your proposed study. In addition, you will further explain how your new inpatient service will add value for patients and improve the financial viability of the institution. This section will require you to use both qualitative and quantitative data to justify the plan. Hospitals operate in terms of how many beds are occupied relative to how many are empty. Most CEOs want to see that a unit is running at near full capacity and that volume is increasing year to year. Analyze how your proposal will meet these demands by explaining the data you have collected and predicting potential financial outcomes. Finally, evaluate and explain how value-based care will impact your ability to maintain margins within this newly proposed service.

Outpatient
If your proposed study has an outpatient component, examine how admissions, revenue, and workflow of staff will improve the efficiency of your proposed service. Analyze how your outpatient service will add value for patients and improve the financial viability of the institution. Justify your plan with appropriate data. As stated in the inpatient section, the content here applies much the same way. However, the caveat for outpatient services lies in the ambulatory setting. This aspect should be most interesting under conditions created by the Affordable Care Act. The new paradigm shift will be toward more preventative, primary, and outpatient care settings to reduce the numbers of patients being admitted to hospitals. Please explain how your proposal takes these conditions into consideration. In this section, you will further compare and contrast economic challenges and incentives among health care’s organization models in an outpatient setting. You will also further augment your design in an economic framework that is responsive to your market.

Outlook
This section examines future implications of your proposed services and how they will impact the future health outcomes of the community and financial health of the services being provided. Analyze economic theories that are germane to the provision of your proposed health services. What adjustments might you need to make in terms of what the “unintended consequences” may be? For example, Baylor Hospital in Houston proposed and spent 250 million to create a brand new hospital that currently stands empty because it was built during the U.S. economic downturn, the loan was no longer able to finance the construction, and the initial examination of its necessity did not play out as expected. Provide conclusions and implications of how your feasibility study fits within the larger context of the system of services currently being provided. How do they work with one another within the larger health care system?

Finally, evaluate how your study will respond to market and design models that impact the community based on current regulatory and market needs.

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