The Affordable Care Act was made operational in the year 2010. The primary objectives of the Act are the provision of affordable health insurance to individuals, expansion of the Medicaid Program, and supporting innovative healthcare provision methods (Affordable Care Act, n.d). So far, tremendous progress has been made towards realizing these goals. The Act has revolutionized the way medical care is provided in the United States by offering a variety of options to individuals. Nursing can also play an important role in making efficiency in healthcare a reality. Addressing economic factors such as payment reforms, increased government expenditure, and employer-provided insurance can help to make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) more efficient.
The government needs to maximize expenditure on the provision of affordable care (Boddy et al., 2015). This means that there will be more nurses and doctors in healthcare institutions all over the United States. There are still cases of patient mortality resulting from inadequate care provided by health personnel. Expenditure on health care was approximated at 18% of GDP in the year 2014 (Kline et al., 2015). Maximizing expenditure also means that the healthcare institutions will be able to acquire the latest technology of medical equipment thus increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the provision of services. Introduction of more healthcare personnel will also reduce the recovery period of patients by a margin owing to the quality care provided by the personnel. In effect, there will be more space to accommodate new patients into the healthcare facilities across the country. Therefore, optimum government expenditure will have will have a positive impact on the Affordable Care Act.
Health care institutions also need to introduce payment reforms on the provision of services in their institutions (Boddy et al., 2015). Payment for the provision of healthcare services should be qualitative rather than quantitative. This means that health care providers should be paid in accordance with the impact their services have on patients rather than the number of trips made to the hospital, number of days, and amount of drugs administered on the patients. This will reduce the burden on patients due to the high cost associated with the provision of medical services. The problem of underpayment and underpayment of insurance provision also needs to be part of the discussion on healthcare reforms. Underpayment has often led to a denial by healthcare institutions to provide certain health care services to people who cannot afford them. This means that the safety net for people with insurance cover should be strengthened to include people who have lower income. Also, overpayment has on occasions led to pay for healthcare services that would never be provided to the patient. Reforms should be put in place to ensure that there is no underpayment or overpayment. Payment reforms will lead to a positive impact on the Affordable Care Act.
Encouraging organizations to provide employer-sponsored insurance will also have a profound impact on the ACA (Boddy et al., 2015). This is because an organization has the capability to provide full medical coverage for its employees; effectively eliminating the problem of insufficient funds when the patient cannot afford the type of service that is required for their treatment to take place. Currently, "the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) health insurance plan is the most popular insurance plan with coverage of 58% of the employed population" (Kline et al., 2015). This type of insurance coverage is better than the conventional insurance cover whose popularity has reduced from a high of 78% to 1% in the past 3 decades. This means that more organizations should be targeted to provide insurance coverage for their employees because this will reduce their financial burden. Employer-sponsored insurance cover will certainly have a positive impact on the ACA.
Nurses have an important role to play in the success of the ACA. The connection between health care and health policy is clearer than ever. This is a historic moment for the nurses because they need to lead in facilitating reforms in healthcare. They can do this by providing vital information to the surrounding communities on ways of accessing health insurance that is offered by the ACA. This will help millions of people across the United States who are either underinsured or uninsured, to benefit from the Act. Nurses also have a responsibility to learn everything that ACA entails so that they do not offer misguided information to patients. Streamlining all aspects of the ACA provision will gradually ensure its efficiency across the United States.
Overall, economic factors have impacted heavily on the Affordable Care Act. Increased public expenditure on healthcare facilities will increase the healthcare provider to patient ratio; payment reforms can be implemented to make provision of healthcare services qualitative rather than quantitative and having more employer-sponsored insurance policies can lead to streamlined healthcare that is available to all people. Nurses can also play the vital role of informing the community and families around them of the importance of the ACA in a bid to attract the millions of Americans who are yet to have an insurance cover. I believe quality healthcare should be affordable to every person irrespective of their financial status
Kline, R. M., Bazell, C., Smith, E., Schumacher, H., Rajkumar, R., & Conway, P. H. (2015). Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: using an episode-based payment model to improve oncology care. Journal of oncology practice, 11(2), 114-116.
Boddy, D., Dokko, J., Nantz, G., & Schanzenbach, D. W. (2015). Six Economic Facts about Health Care and Health Insurance Markets after the Affordable Care Act. Hamilton Project.
Affordable care act (ACA) - Healthcare.gov Glossary. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/affordable-care-act/
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