Baby Boomers Effect on the U.S. Healthcare System

1100 words (4 pages) Essay

23rd Sep 2019 Health Reference this

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Baby Boomers Effect on the U.S. Healthcare System

The famous baby boomer generation began in 1946 when 3.4 million babies were born. Every year consecutively following this year, the number of babies being born kept increasing. Finally in 1964, the boom finally tapered off, consisting of almost 40% of the U.S.’s population (Baby Boomers, 2010). Now in 2017, this generation is becoming part of the elderly and all will be in need of assistance all at once. They will greatly impact the U.S. Healthcare System in many ways through the amount of healthcare workers, workplace locations, preparation for medical students, healthcare delivery, Medicare, and end-of-life care.

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 Healthcare workers are easily and significantly affected by the baby boomers in several ways. The first way workers will be affected is that there will be a new demand of the amount of healthcare workers needed in the healthcare system due to the larger elderly population requiring care. From just 1945 to 1946, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of babies being born (Baby Boomers, 2010). So, the amount of healthcare workers needed will be a notable jump up due to the population.

 Another way healthcare workers will be affected is in medical students shifting gears on patient base. In order to prepare for treating members of the baby boomer generation, medical students today are being prepped to provide treatment to patients with broad ranges of conditions midst a more diverse population than ever seen in previous years. The American Medical Student Association states, “the population of individuals over the age of 65 will increase by 73 percent between 2010 and 2030, meaning one in five Americans will be a senior citizen” (Carrington, 2014, para 3). It is important Medical students are trained to properly treat the elderly population in particular because they will be of the most common patients being seen.

Healthcare workers are also affected because how healthcare is being delivered will most likely endure a change with the baby boomer generation aging, even though it has been the same way for years. Health care workers in some professions may need to find new ways of providing services. This may include more services being provided at the homes of patients, in group settings, in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, or through the internet (University of Albany, 2006). Home health and assisted living settings are expected to become more popular healthcare employment settings. A rise is employment in nursing homes is also expected, although at a slow escalation. Baby boomers becoming a large amount of the population in need of health care causes a shift in the treatment locations, it is expected to move from public to private settings.

The U.S. Healthcare System will also change by the new services patients will receive. Medicare enrollment is now becoming available to the 77 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. The sheer number of beneficiaries is expected to rise up to 81 million in 2030, as compared to the 50.7 million back in 2012 (Moffit and Senger, 2013). This expansion in Medicare enrollees creates an unprecedented demand for technology advancing medical services. The current U.S. tax payer pays an estimated 9 out of 10 dollars in total Medicare costs in any given year (Moffit and Senger, 2013). A presumption can be made that most payments made by current and future taxpayers will continue to be towards Medicare and taxes will continue to arise.

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Another service patients will be provided through the U.S. Healthcare system is by end of life care. Baby boomers are expected to be alive much longer as life expectancy continues to extend over decades. Being that technology is much more advanced now, baby boomers will seek out technologies to expand quality of life.

The hospice industry is related to both healthcare workers and patients as it is expected to diversify in settings of care as baby boomers demand it. Hospice workers will not just be providing care next to a hospital bed, but “everywhere from a golf course to a casino” (Kaiser, 2012, para. 3). Most families of the elderly desire around the clock care in different settings to make sure their parents or grandparents feel as comfortable as possible and live as much of a normal life as can be provided. The families of the baby boomers will bring arise a need for more healthcare workers and longer work days as never seen before. This could potentially push for an increase in live-in, full-time healthcare providers.

As the baby boomer generation continues to age, the U.S. Healthcare system will continue to endure various changes. This generation is not only the largest thus far (77 million), but also the most technologically advanced thus far. As seen, many new demands are to be expected and unlikely to not be met. Changes in the healthcare system include the amount of healthcare workers, workplace locations, preparation for medical students, healthcare delivery, Medicare, and end-of-life care.

References

Baby Boomers Effect on the U.S. Healthcare System

The famous baby boomer generation began in 1946 when 3.4 million babies were born. Every year consecutively following this year, the number of babies being born kept increasing. Finally in 1964, the boom finally tapered off, consisting of almost 40% of the U.S.’s population (Baby Boomers, 2010). Now in 2017, this generation is becoming part of the elderly and all will be in need of assistance all at once. They will greatly impact the U.S. Healthcare System in many ways through the amount of healthcare workers, workplace locations, preparation for medical students, healthcare delivery, Medicare, and end-of-life care.

 Healthcare workers are easily and significantly affected by the baby boomers in several ways. The first way workers will be affected is that there will be a new demand of the amount of healthcare workers needed in the healthcare system due to the larger elderly population requiring care. From just 1945 to 1946, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of babies being born (Baby Boomers, 2010). So, the amount of healthcare workers needed will be a notable jump up due to the population.

 Another way healthcare workers will be affected is in medical students shifting gears on patient base. In order to prepare for treating members of the baby boomer generation, medical students today are being prepped to provide treatment to patients with broad ranges of conditions midst a more diverse population than ever seen in previous years. The American Medical Student Association states, “the population of individuals over the age of 65 will increase by 73 percent between 2010 and 2030, meaning one in five Americans will be a senior citizen” (Carrington, 2014, para 3). It is important Medical students are trained to properly treat the elderly population in particular because they will be of the most common patients being seen.

Healthcare workers are also affected because how healthcare is being delivered will most likely endure a change with the baby boomer generation aging, even though it has been the same way for years. Health care workers in some professions may need to find new ways of providing services. This may include more services being provided at the homes of patients, in group settings, in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, or through the internet (University of Albany, 2006). Home health and assisted living settings are expected to become more popular healthcare employment settings. A rise is employment in nursing homes is also expected, although at a slow escalation. Baby boomers becoming a large amount of the population in need of health care causes a shift in the treatment locations, it is expected to move from public to private settings.

The U.S. Healthcare System will also change by the new services patients will receive. Medicare enrollment is now becoming available to the 77 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. The sheer number of beneficiaries is expected to rise up to 81 million in 2030, as compared to the 50.7 million back in 2012 (Moffit and Senger, 2013). This expansion in Medicare enrollees creates an unprecedented demand for technology advancing medical services. The current U.S. tax payer pays an estimated 9 out of 10 dollars in total Medicare costs in any given year (Moffit and Senger, 2013). A presumption can be made that most payments made by current and future taxpayers will continue to be towards Medicare and taxes will continue to arise.

Another service patients will be provided through the U.S. Healthcare system is by end of life care. Baby boomers are expected to be alive much longer as life expectancy continues to extend over decades. Being that technology is much more advanced now, baby boomers will seek out technologies to expand quality of life.

The hospice industry is related to both healthcare workers and patients as it is expected to diversify in settings of care as baby boomers demand it. Hospice workers will not just be providing care next to a hospital bed, but “everywhere from a golf course to a casino” (Kaiser, 2012, para. 3). Most families of the elderly desire around the clock care in different settings to make sure their parents or grandparents feel as comfortable as possible and live as much of a normal life as can be provided. The families of the baby boomers will bring arise a need for more healthcare workers and longer work days as never seen before. This could potentially push for an increase in live-in, full-time healthcare providers.

As the baby boomer generation continues to age, the U.S. Healthcare system will continue to endure various changes. This generation is not only the largest thus far (77 million), but also the most technologically advanced thus far. As seen, many new demands are to be expected and unlikely to not be met. Changes in the healthcare system include the amount of healthcare workers, workplace locations, preparation for medical students, healthcare delivery, Medicare, and end-of-life care.

References

  • Carrington College. (2014, February 1). How Baby Boomers Will Affect the Health Care Industry in the U.S. Retrieved from  https://carrington.edu/blog/medical/baby-boomers-will-affect-health-care-industry-u-s/
  • History.com Staff. (2010). Baby Boomers. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/baby-boomers
  • Kaiser, H. J. (2012, July 04). Long-term, hospice care questions for baby boomers bubble under surface. Retrieved from https://www.news-medical.net/news/20120704/Long-term-hospice-care-questions-for-baby-boomers-bubble-under-surface.aspx
  • Moffit, R., & Senger, A. (2013, March 21). Medicare’s Demographic Challenge-and the Urgent Need for Reform. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/health-care-reform/report/medicares-demographic-challenge-and-the-urgent-need-reform
  • School of Public Health, University at Albany . (2006, March). Impact of the Aging Population on the Health Workforce in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.albany.edu/news/pdf_files/impact_of_aging_excerpt.pdf

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