Health Policy Components: Development & Implementation

Instructor: Alexandra Unfried

Alexandra earned her master's degree in nursing education and is currently a hospital supervisor/administrator.

Health policy affects all populations and may be different based on location, demographics, and accessibility. This lesson will discuss the development and implementation of health policy components.

Building Blocks

Sarah is a councilwoman at the county level and is looking at current health policies impacting the county, state, and country. She wants to gain a general understanding of what makes up health policies. She begins by contacting a state representative and asking what goes into the development of health policy.

What Is Health Policy?

Health policy is legislation or other government action that deals with the influences that help, or interfere with, reaching health goals on a public level. Examples of health policies include Social Security regulations, labor policy, immigration laws, and standards related to national defense. Health policies affect organizations and individuals. Organizations include medical schools, health management organizations, medical technology companies, employees, and nursing homes. Individuals include medical doctors, as well as classes or groups of people like the elderly, the poor, and children.

The elderly is an example of a population that is affected by health policy
The elderly is an example of a population that is affected by health policy

Health policies are set by federal, state, and local governments, and influence by the private sector. These policies range from ensuring quality air and water to regulating insurance companies and medical research. The general goal of health policy is to improve the health of the population while providing accessible and quality healthcare services.

Sarah understands how important health policy is. Now she turns to her fellow councilmen to find out how it is developed and who is involved.

Development of Health Policy

A health care policy relates to the organization, financing, and delivery of care associated with general health policy. Health determinants are factors that affect health policy and include medical care, individual characteristics, environment, and health status. The environment is involved in all factors of health policy because it takes into account health hazards like consumption of coal and oil as well as the politics, culture, and economy of each area.

Two types of health policy are regulatory and allocative. Regulatory health policy helps the government to standardize specific groups and their behaviors, such as banning smoking in public areas to improve health. Allocative health policy is driven by income, services, or goods that benefit one group or organization over another. This includes funding for research and supporting Medicare. Stakeholders play a role in developing health policy by influencing elected officials to support certain issues.

Sarah is hoping to discuss issues with stakeholders, but is also worried about how health policy is implemented. She continues to research what is involved in implementing health policies.

Implementation of Health Policy

There are several components that are useful in implementing health policy. These components include innovation, a technical package, communication, partnerships, management, and political commitment. Health policies can be implemented at all levels of the government system. Small scale health policies affect clinics, providers, and individual hospitals. Larger scale health policies affect organizations at the city, state, national, and international level. Implementation is important to public health in order to improve the health quality and health services to improve the overall quality of life of each member of society. The involvement of government as well as stakeholders can bring to light the health issues affecting the world and then work towards a common goal.

Individual hospitals are affected by small scale policies
Individual hospitals are affected by small scale policies

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