Health and human services in an age of maturity.Health Prog. 1986 Dec; 67(10):58-65.HP
Catholic health care organizations are experiencing a tension between evangelical mission and expanding competition in medical markets. For the voluntary, not-for-profit health and human services system to survive and grow, hospital communities must find new revenue sources that do not create dependence on state and federal monies. The United States entered the Age of Maturity in 1985 as the "baby boomers" born between 1945 and 1957 became 40 years old, requiring health care providers to begin to plan for their care in old age. This large aging population, combined with a longer life span for Americans, will put increased burdens on health care organizations, particularly for chronic care, up to the year 2020 or beyond. Changes in family structure and social networks will be necessary as more people care for older relatives. The ratio of nonworkers to workers will increase, further burdening national and state tax bases, Social Security, and other worker-contributor programs. Investment banks are one option to finance the older population's increased needs for health and human services. Investment banks are funded by donations from the private sector (local and national businesses), the public sector (state, national, and local agencies), and new for-profit ventures for older persons. The contributions themselves remain in a central fund, with only the interest generated being used to fund local organizations committed to financial self-sufficiency and to helping the elderly. Older persons will carry increased economic and political clout in the Age of Maturity and will constitute a large percentage of hospitals' business. Therefore hospitals will have to develop a strong market position among the elderly. They must consider integrating a new service mix of both health and human services. Candidates for new hospital services for the elderly include housing programs, long-term care and continuum of care programs, employment programs, retirement planning, estate planning, day care, education and leisure programs, and family counseling.