Academic journal article IUP Journal of Management Research

Pros and Cons of Fast-Track Process: A Case Study

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Management Research

Pros and Cons of Fast-Track Process: A Case Study

Article excerpt


Tradition has it that the Greek physician and philosopher Hippocrates said: "The human body is a temple, and must therefore always be cared for and respected." The clear medical implications of this statement should not be neglected, nor should they be forgotten in other disciplines such as economics.

Indeed, the healthcare system is a structure of great interest for analysis by various sciences, ranging from medicine and surgery to economics, particularly regarding the analysis of healthcare spending. All these disciplines must always bear in mind the incredibly unique nature of health as an asset, which falls outside the usual concepts of supply and demand, and always comply with the difficult relationship deriving from lack of it.

The healthcare services industry is large both in terms of its technology and employment. Post-industrial economies are equipped with modern healthcare systems that are constantly improving and balancing purely market-driven needs with welfare-oriented requirements. In a majority of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Develo pment (OECD) countri es, the healthcare indust ry is responsible for generating approximately 7.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It therefore has a significant effect on the countries' growth and economic development, both in developed and developing eco nomies. The healthcare industry and healthcare products have a major direct and indirect impact due to their close interaction with other parts of the economy. It is therefore a sector of paramount importance, and given its status as a capital-rich sector, a benchmark for employment and a powerful stimulus for growth. Therefore, studying this sector can lead to a reduction in or limitation of costs associated with it. This paper analyzes the Italian healthcare syst em, particularly aspects co ncerning Accident and Emergency (A&E) and new concepts applied to this field in recent years.

Literature Review and Context Analysis

The Italian healthcare system, founded in 1978, is based on a predominantly public model, although recently there has been a trend towards private management in certain areas.

Healthcare is a unique research area, particularly from economics viewpoint. It has no similarities with the principal models of supply and demand used for traditional goods and services. The healthcare sector is characterized by consumers' limited knowledge of goods and services. Indeed, they require advice before acquiring services, and therefore there must be healthcare professionals available to provide this advice, highly regulated due to their fundamentally important role. Furthermore, widely shared principles of equality state that everyone should be guaranteed at least a basic level of access to treatment.

The existence of two frequently overlapping models, one public and one private, is responsible for the large variety between countries in the management and organization of their healthcare sectors. The differences are particularly apparent in the scale of the total and per capita spending on healthcare and in the proportions of public and private funding in the sector. These differences can be seen in Figure 1.

The aforementioned unique nature of healthcare models is due to two critical points, which have been amply highlighted and analyzed in literature. The first is the insurance market in the healthcare sector and its deficiencies, while the second is the existence of large, clear information asymmetries that correspond to the two well-known issues of moral hazard and adverse selection.

Healthcare Insurance

In the healthcare insurance market, the state is the main counterparty, both intervening in case of collapse and providing incentives through various forms of taxation.

The reason why the healthcare system is unusual in terms of insurance can be found through a detailed analysis of health as an asset, with its very high levels of uncertainty combined with the intrinsic human characteristic of risk aversion (Barr, 1992; and Hirshleifer and Riley, 1992). …

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