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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Introduction to Health Services Research : A Self-Study Course

Module 2: Brief History of Health Services Research (Page 19 of 40)

Healthcare Professionals and Social Scientists Study Health Care

Expanded Demand for Health Services

Health United States 2004 cover. Click to get additional information from the HUS Web site. The Medicare and Medicaid programs greatly expanded demand for health services and led to incentives for providers of services that increased health care costs. (Use Health, United States (HUS) to follow the growth of health services and the increase in costs over the years). Editions back to 1993 are available online in PDF. View two previous editions of Health United States in PDF: 2004, 2005.

Trend tables and Chartbook tables are available in Excel format. Tables in Excel can be manipulated. Create custom analyses, make your own graphs, and export tables and graphs to presentation software.

Health Manpower

Researchers studied health manpower (including physician assistants and nurse practitioners), the utilization of health care services, and access to services. (Use HUS to track changes in these and related areas over the years since the 1960s).

Social Scientists' Role in Health Manpower Research

Sociologists and psychologists contributed to this research as well. The American Sociological Association (ASA) established its Section on Medical Sociology in the 1960s.

Health Care Utilization

Other professional disciplines examined the patient's role in health care, including people's motivation to seek health services and physician-patient communication (Flook, 1973).

View Key Projects and Milestones in Health Services Research.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why would the Medicare and Medicaid programs lead to greater demand for health services? What incentives were used by providers of services that increased health care costs.
  2. We know that health services research incorporates methods from other disciplines. Discuss the impact of sociologists and psychologists on research into health services. What other disciplines have been incorporated into health services research?
  3. What was the impact on the provision of health services when midwives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other allied health professionals were added to the health care system?
  4. How useful is it to have Trend tables and Chartbook tables available in Excel format? How would you use this data?
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