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Reforms in Healthcare and Role of Nursing Practitioner
The United States is among the few nations in the world with arguably the most complex healthcare system in terms of funding and nurses to patient ratio. The US expenditure is more than any other country on healthcare services. It currently spends about 2.5 times the average of the other countries with high incomes (Brom, Salsberry & Graham, 2018). Different administrations that have been there before made various steps towards reforming healthcare.
One major reform was the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during President Obama’s administration (Brom, Salsberry & Graham, 2018). The ACT has helped millions of poor Americans to access quality healthcare. However, the increasing number of patients seeking healthcare through ACA has surpassed the number of nurses therefore exacerbating the shortage of nurses in the US (Brom, Salsberry & Graham, 2018). The idea to fund the training of more nursing practitioners through programs like Graduate Nurse Education is important since it will continue to fill in the gap of the physician shortage.
One major shortcoming of ACA is that it depends on commercial health insurance coverage. Health insurance providers are still trying to increase profits rather than improve the care facilities required or expand empathy and caring, both for-profit and non-profit (Contandriopoulos et al., 2016). The central role of these firms is to collect deposits, pay bills and advertisement fees, which typically absorb between 20% and 25% of premiums, along with revenues (Contandriopoulos et al., 2016). ACA constitutionally restricts this duplication and ineffectiveness at 20 percent (Contandriopoulos et al., 2016). This means that health insurance firms will invest an infinite amount of money in administrative care and structured profit administration.
Finally, the use of data in the healthcare sector is among the reforms that have influenced the role of nurses. Since ACA put more pressure on nurses to perform better by having great results in the delivery of quality care, nurses can achieve great outcome if they make use of data generated by the healthcare system (Contandriopoulos et al., 2016). Meaningful data assist nurses in making a sound decision that improves healthcare that is evidence-based.
Brom, H. M., Salsberry, P. J., & Graham, M. C. (2018). Leveraging health care reform to accelerate nurse practitioner full practice authority. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 30(3), 120.
Contandriopoulos, D., Brousselle, A., Breton, M., Sangster-Gormley, E., Kilpatrick, K., Dubois, C. A. … & Perroux, M. (2016). Nurse practitioners, canaries in the mine of primary care reform. Health Policy, 120(6), 682-689.