ANCILLARY HEALTHCARE SERVICES 1
Healthcare is a term that most people are well acquainted with due tothe health complications and diseases that surround mankind.Provision of healthcare is not a rare term neither as it has existedas long as man has felt ill, posing a challenge to find a solutionfor an illness. With increasing of life causing diseases (or what wenow call it, terminal illnesses), more research has been enacted tofind efficient and productive solutions to these pandemics. One suchsolution is called ancillary services. This paper seeks to discusswhat ancillary services are, functions provided in these services,key personnel within the departments associated with ancillaryservices, and how these departments support or are supported by otherdepartments.
Ancillary services are healthcare services that are targeted forpatients who have various health complications including terminalillnesses(Olson, 2015). Ancillary services are classified indiagnostic, therapeutic, and custodial departments for any healthcareproviders. In the diagnostic sector, the main activities includetaking x-raying and analysis of the images in a work station which iscalled radiology(ehow, 2009). Another activity in this area islaboratory testing, Cardiac Testing Pulmonary Function Testing andHearing Tests (audiology) for diagnosis purposes (Lee, 2008). As onecan already see, this area focuses on gathering necessary facts thatcan help health practitioners to associate patients’ symptoms tocertain diseases. Personnel involved in this field include laboratorytechnicians, medical assistants and radiology technicians.Diagnostics is probably among the most trending medical fields thisis attributed with advancement in technology and mass awareness thatcalls for all people to get screened for various medical purposes.The field is therefore crucial in early detection of deadly andterminal illnesses such as cancer and AIDS.
Therapeutic filed of healthcare is associated with such activities asrehabilitation of certain patients such as the traumatized and drugaddicts(Hayes, 2012). Therapies also include changing of mental stateof mentally ill patients. Furthermore, other services in therapeuticdepartment include body massages to relieve the body of stresses andfatigue. This is anarea in which pharmacists have strong supports asthey offer prescriptions advice to patients(European Association ofHospital Pharmacists, 2013). These prescriptions are aimed atimproving the physical as well as mental health of the patients oroffer pain relief and comfort for terminally ill patients. Personnelunder this area include speech pathologist, occupational therapist,physical therapist and physical therapy assistants (PTAs).
Custodial healthcare is the last category of ancillary services. Thisdepartment is concerned with providing healthcare in cases where theservices are required in urgency or for a long time(Stewart, 2009).This is specifically an area that serves patients with long termillnesses such as chronic levels of cancers. One such service undercustodial healthcare is hospice healthcare. Several personnel areassociated with custodial services such individuals include nurses(registered nurses, licensed practical and licensed vocationalnurses), home health aides, nursing aides and orderlies.
Ancillary services are usually provided in two cases where nohospital is involved (free standing) and where the services areprovided in hospitals. In each of these cases, the services provideddifferent platforms for the purpose of support or interaction(Olson,2015). In a case not involving the hospital, the ancillary servicesrequire support from external practitioners such as pharmacists whoprescribe medicines. Where a hospital is part of the ancillaryservices, interactions and support are mostly present in bothinternally (from within departments in the hospital) and externallyin and out patient sections.
Current Trends in Ancillary Services
In the world of today, ancillary services are taking a new form oftrend. This is greatly attributed to the rate of adding persons andthe complications associated with old age. These have led to anincrease in the support offered to such areas as hospice healthcarethe aged have to be taken care of(Concorde Career College, 2016).This is being supported through enactment of health insurancepolicies that seek to ensure that the aged obtain the specifichospice healthcare related to their relevant old age andcomplications. This trend is having positive effects on both thepatients and personnel administering the ancillary services. Havingthe policies that increase support for old age patients greatlyreduce mortality rate. Currently, life expectancy is rated at almost78 years and studies show that there is an increase on this.
Furthermore, patients are seeking healthcare support in out ofhospital settings as this is being viewed as being less expensive ascompared with in hospitals. Trends are taking place in thisenvironment as the patients are reducing the costs of havingexpensive therapists by the use of personalized health machines suchas blood testing kits(Concorde Career College, 2016). These aid byeliminating the need of having the tests in hospital laboratories andare easy to operate even by untrained personnel such as the patients’family members. This has led to an increase in awareness affectingmatters of healthcare. Ancillary healthcare services are thereforewitnessing a general increase in the number of subscribers as aresult.
Legal trends are also taking place in ancillary services. One lawcalled Stark Law requires that a medical practitioner should notrecommend a patient to a pharmacy or any external ancillary serviceprovider with a financial affiliation(Cms.gov, 2016). This has helpedto maintain the ethical standards that medical practitioners abideto. The safety of patients seeking ancillary services is also upheldas advice on the best service provider will be based not on financialgains by physicians but on a good reputation on these facilities.
Due to the increased mass awareness to ancillary healthcare services,one can almost certainly predict an over population on availablefacilities. This might be a burden on health practitioners in suchfacilities and if not dealt with abruptly would deter theadministration of the services to the patients. Practitioners inthese facilities should ensure that patients are serviced immediatelyto reduce the work overload. Hospitals and health facilities shouldalso be equipped with more personnel and equipments to tend therising need for healthcare services. Practitioners should also offerconsultation advice to the patients to have them seek the services inthe approved facilities and freestanding centers. Healthpractitioners must also abide by the rules, law and policiesappropriate in ancillary services. One way for example is by ensuringthat they do not offer advice to patients for personal gains(Cms.gov,2016). The practitioners should therefore make sure that they respecttheir oaths of office which will ensure that interests and health ofpatients are kept under consideration.
This paper has offered an insight into what ancillary services are aswell as categories of healthcare services under this filed. The paperhas also discussed the various personnel and activities associatedwith these categories. Current trends affecting ancillary healthcareservices have been addressed including effects of the trends. Issuesemanating from ancillary services have been taken into considerationand possible recommendations given to help solve such issues. Fromthese aspects, it is clear that ancillary healthcare service is afield under healthcare that is fast growing at the global arena. Withtrends increasing subscribers to the services, one thing is clear.This is the observation that there is more likely to be an increasein subscribers of this program.
5 Health Care Trends in 2016 – Concorde Career College.(2016). Concorde Career College. Retrieved 30 September 2016,from http://www.concorde.edu/blog/5-health-care-trends-2016
ehow,. (2009). Radiology : What Is a Radiologist?. Retrievedfrom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vxM8uKsmoA
European Association of Hospital Pharmacists,. (2013). Whathospital pharmacists do. Retrieved fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6Nzmd7oZlM
Hayes, C. (2012). The therapeutic alliance in healthcare assistantpractice. Br J Healthcare Assistants, 6(2), 78-83.http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjha.2012.6.2.78
LEE, A. (2008). Ancillary testing and differential diagnosis. ActaOphthalmologica, 86, 0-0.http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-3768.2008.3266.x
Olson, N. (2015). Medical Researchers` Ancillary Care Obligations:The Relationship-Based Approach. Bioethics, 30(5),317-324. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12212
Physician Self Referral – Centers for Medicare & MedicaidServices. (2016). Cms.gov. Retrieved 30 September 2016,fromhttps://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Fraud-and-Abuse/PhysicianSelfReferral/index.html?redirect=/physicianselfreferral/
Stewart, W. (2009). Moving beyond functional learning in custodialhealthcare. Br J Healthcare Assistants, 3(8), 385-386.http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjha.2009.3.8.43669