Disaster Preparedness in Relation to Hurricane Katrina

The size and power of Hurricane Katrina resulted were huge and it became one of the most catastrophic disasters in US history. This hurricane raised major questions about the country’s capability to prepare for disastrous disasters and thus a program was designed to solve this problem.

Strengths of the program:

  • It has extremely well prepared and organized relief personnel
  • This program has enabled adequate handling of emergencies.
  • The communication channels between the stakeholders are transparent.
  • Relationships have been identified and cultivated throughout the program (Dyson, 2006)
  • The program has been successful in involving community advocates in the emergency preparation as they understand the community’s needs

Weaknesses of the program:

  • This program uses the money of the taxpayers to assist disaster victims’ thus spreading loss throughout all citizens.
  • Insurance distributes loss only to affected people.
  • The program does not eliminate risk (Childs, 2008)

Steps the US government should take to strengthen their response to disaster preparedness

  • The government has come up with planning guidance that is intended to help state public health officials establish the roles of their departments in response to disasters and to understand the emergency management system.
  • This guide can be also used to help state health departments direct their efforts with the many health agencies and organizations at all levels of government that would eventually respond to a disaster event (Walker, 2006)
  • The U.S Government has provided a lot of assistance in the form of funds to help each state prepare sufficiently for a medical surge in case a calamitous event happens again.
  • According to Childs (2008), the Government and other major stakeholders have collaborated to develop recovery goals to effectively guide recovery efforts in the future.

Financial management for US Health Care Organizations

  • One of the main issues in the financial management for US Health Care Organizations is the cost of providing health care, which is a large undertaking that costs the government a huge amount of money which they don’t have if they decided to provide health care for its citizens.
  • Because of this, many people are trying to come up with ways of reducing the cost of health care. Some people pay more for health insurance than others in the U.S, for example, older citizens are more likely to need expensive medical care than young citizens because there is a high likelihood of them getting ill due to the age factor.
  • Health insurance premium costs are skyrocketing (Herzlinger, 1999). It is for these reasons that many people ask themselves the question that: Should health insurance pay more or less of the price of care in other words should health insurance pay less to make consumers more price-conscious and shop for lower-cost services.
  • In my opinion, I think health insurance should pay more of the price of care. For example, a person in a high deductible plan would pay more but in the long term have he or she will be assured that if he or she needs major medical care, for example, surgery, he or she will be covered.
  • A high deductible plan is intended to only “kick-in” (Harrington, Estes and Crawford, 2004) after the out-of-pocket expenses like the doctor’s visits and prescriptions reach the deductible, which is usually higher than a normal insurance plan (Harrington, Estes and Crawford, 2004)

Using a health insurance plan like this one has a lower premium because the deductible is higher (Harrington, Estes and Crawford, 2004). However, there are some guidelines that have to be followed if a person decides to go with this type of insurance. The person should:

  • Afford high out of pocket expenses
  • Be in a healthy condition
  • Normally does not take prescription medicine
  • Does not plan to get a baby for one year until maternity care is covered
  • Do not have situations that existed before that can have a waiting period (Patel and Rufeshsky, 2006).

However it is always advisable for individuals to shop around and compare costs so that they may have an idea of what can best work out for them.

References

Childs, D (2008) Prepare for the worst, plan for the best: Disaster preparedness and recovery for small businesses. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons

Dyson, M (2006) Come hell or high water: Hurricane Katrina and the color of disaster. New York, NY: Basic Civitas

Harrington C, Estes C and Crawford C (2004) Healthy policy: crisis and reform in the U.S health care delivery system Bloomfield, NJ: Jones & Bartlett Publishers

Herzlinger, R (1999) Market-driven health care: who wins, who loses in the transformation of America’s largest service industry. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books

Patel K and Rushefsky M (2006) Health care politics and policy in America Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe Publishers

Walker, D (2006) Hurricane Katrina GAO’s observations regarding preparedness, response and recovery Darby, PA: Diane Publishing