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Health Care Reform and Nursing Profession - Term Paper Example

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Healthcare Reform and Nursing Profession Valerie Blemur NUR 3119 Professional Nursing: Concepts & Issues April 14, 2012 Healthcare Reform and Nursing Profession On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the comprehensive healthcare reform into law which focuses on expanding coverage, control healthcare costs and improve the healthcare delivery system (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2011)…
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Download file to see previous pages A study conducted by the World Health Organization (1999) revealed that the health care system in United States ranked 37th in overall performance and 72nd in overall level of health among 191 nations reviewed in the study. Again, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2012), the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010. A recent study also revealed that more than 44,800 excess deaths occur annually in U.S. due to lack of insurance (Wilper, Woolhandler, Lasser, McCormick, Bor, & Himmelstein, 2009). These were the major driving factors that led to the release of the health care reform act, also called the patient protection and affordable care act or the PPACA. The U.S. Health care reform act extends healthcare coverage to nearly 32 million people by providing subsidies for people who cannot afford insurance on their own, developing consumer-friendly rules clamped on insurers, offering tax breaks and developing marketplaces to shop for insurance plans (Frellick, 2010). This act gives new opportunities to nurses to deliver care and play a vital role in leading change. It challenges nurses to do more to prevent diseases, provide chronic care management especially to the growing geriatric population and offer end-of-life care that focus on comfort and compassion. Following are some of the provisions in the healthcare reform that affect nurses: Reauthorization of Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs The new healthcare reform reauthorized some of the major workforce development grant programs like advanced education nursing, workforce diversity grants, nursing education, practice and retention grants and nursing student and nurse faculty loan programs (Health Resources and Services Administration, n.d.). In 2010, $243 million was allocated towards Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Wood, 2011). These programs have been made available to promote nursing education through loan repayment and scholarship programs and ensure that there are enough nurses to care for the growing healthcare needs in the future. These grant programs under the Public Health Service Act are the chief source of federal funding for nursing education (Frellick, 2010). Nurse-Managed Health Clinics The passage of the U.S. 2010 Health care reform act has resulted in the authorization of nurse-managed health clinics (NMHCs) which are nurse practice arrangements where advanced practice nurses serve as primary care providers, managers and administrators (Esperat, Hanson-Turton, Richardson, Debisette, & Rupinta, 2012). NMHCs provide health care services ranging from basic health promotion and disease prevention approaches to full service primary care including chronic disease management programs to the underserved populations and is associated with a school, college, university or department of nursing, federally qualified health center or an independent non-profit health or social service agency (Esperat et al., 2012). These NMHCs provide a ‘safety net’ for medically underserved populations in crucial health care access points in areas where primary care physicians are in short supply (Frellick, 2010). In 2010, the Human Resources and Services Administration released $14.8 million in prevention fund dollars to support grants to 10 NHMCs, but this funding was not renewed in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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