The unstable operating environment in the United States, especially in the 1990s has made hospitals that provide long-term care services to diversify their products as well as services offered to capture ardently the ever-changing long-term care market. The University of Rochester Medical Center (2010) sees this as arising from the dynamic changing demographic and economic pressures (Para. 9).
The hospitals have to enhance their financial stability while still ensuring enormous competitive edge in attempts to enter into new markets. A sure way to do this is to engineer a range of long-term care products from which customers can chooses. With reference to All about Long Term Care (2010), Diversification of long-term care among hospitals has been received with critics (Para. 7).
However, the chief determinate criteria, on whether the hospitals should result to specialized long-term care services provision or continue with the current trend lie squarely on the capacity of the perceived diversification advantages and disadvantages
Diversification of long-term care services has the advantages of organizational, community and market improvements. The community and its needs vary. Referring to Medicare (2010) by diversifying the long-term care services, the health centers ensure that their risks are spread along the various possible alternatives, which come with different charges (Para. 5).
The risk that is evaded by most organizations and the health centers is that of offering certain care services, which might only prove to be demanded by the opulent only hence screening out the largest number: mainly comprised of the middle income earners. The health centre also have got the desires to escape rigid competition given that numerous long term care providers have opened doors both in private and public practice.
According to Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (2010), looking at the various needs that might arise consecutively especially as age advances; the elderly might be required to be put under various long-term care services (Para. 10). For instance, take an example Mr. Smith, who happens to be an elderly man.
As his independence begins to decline, he demands to have assistance in performing his daily chores. The first service that he might demand is provision of ready meals when he starts experiencing troubles in making them. As time progresses, he maybe forgetting to take up his medication and possibly have trouble while walking around the house alone.
Furthermore, as the age progresses, Mr. Smith will find himself lonely and the alternative is to change home. The evolution of these long-term care needs involves different care services, which are consecutively: home based and community services and residential home care services.
A long care service provider with diversified care services is more likely to be beneficial for Mr. Smith’s scenario since all the products can be catered for under a single policy established by the facility. More often than not, if these services are obtained from a single organization, the services are likely to be a little bit cheaper for Mr. Smith.
Health care industry especially if dominated by privately established organizations is subject to general business dynamics. Diversifying therefore, given that it calls for concentration of different products by a single organization, has the capacity to foster dilution of the quality of the provided services.
Another problem with diversification is the need of many nursing care providers required by an organization since licensing is done for specific areas of specialty. This problem is particularly escalated for private establishments that mostly are characterized by low operating funds levels.
Even for large long-term care providers, a disadvantage of inadequate experience in all specialties of long care services exists especially at the top management level. This is essentially due to the reason that diversification of services requires to be accompanied by diversification of knowledge and skills levels especially to those who are in charge of everyone else.
All about Long Term Care. (2010). Cost of Long-term Care. Retrieved 18 February 2011. From http://www.allaboutlongtermcare.com/cost.html
Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2010). Regulations and guidance. Retrieved 18 February 2011. From http://www.cms.hhs.gov/
Medicare. (2010). Health and Human Services: Types of Long-Term Care. Retrieved 18 February 2011. From http://www.medicare.gov/longtermcare/static/typesoverview.asp
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2010). Types of Long Term Care Facilities. Retrieved 18 February 2011. From http://www.stronghealth.com/services/seniors/caring/typesoflongtermcare.cfm