Topic 8: Using Research to Support Health Policy, Advocacy and Policy Development Assignment

The prevalence of diabetes and diabetes-related morbidity and mortality is particularly high among the racial or ethnic minorities within the US (King et al., 2018). As a result, minorities are likely to be hospitalized due to diabetes-related complications such as end-stage kidney disease, amputation of lower extremities, and diabetes retinopathy. Numerous health disparities are common among the racial and ethnic minorities, and hence it is important to formulate appropriate health care policies to address the health disparities. health disparities are thus linked to the high prevalence of diabetes among the minorities since the disparities impact the ability of individuals to self-manage diabetes and maintain a healthy diet and regular physical exercises (King et al., 2018). The health disparities need to be addressed using the appropriate community or government policies. The focus of this paper is on the Affordable Care Act as the healthcare policy with the ability to improve the quality of healthcare cost-effectively in managing diabetes among the racial minorities within the US (African American population).

The main purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to expand insurance coverage in order to improve access to healthcare services. Even though the Affordable Care Act applies to everybody regardless of their socioeconomic status, the key components of the Affordable Care Act focused on increasing and improving healthcare coverage among people from low socioeconomic status, especially ethnic minorities like African Americans (Courtemanche et al., 2018). The main features of the Affordable Care Act as a law encompass federal subsidies that aim to expand the Medicaid eligibility to all American citizens with an income of about 138% of the federal poverty level, as well as Americans earning an income of between 100-400% of the poverty level, with the ability to buy insurance on an exchange, using the set aside large premium subsidies (McIntyre & Song, 2019).

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After the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the number of African Americans with health insurance increased significantly. This indicates that the Affordable Care Act has significantly reformed the healthcare system by improving and increasing primary care since healthcare providers are more focused on the “high need, high cost” since these patients represent the highest of the national health spending; this thus makes the Affordable Care Act policy financially sound. As a policy, the Affordable Care Act has decreased the cost of healthcare and at the same time improved the quality of care since healthcare providers are compensated and paid for the quality of care (health outcomes) and not the quantity of care. (Courtemanche et al., 2018).

Affordable Care Act was also ruled by the supreme court in 2012 as a policy that guides the state, insurers, employers, and consumers during the implementation of the Act in order to avoid any legal, ethical or political disparity (Kominski et al., 2017). During the implementation of the policy, the nursing perspective of continuing to provide care to patients even when patients are dropped by insurance companies is covered by the Affordable Care Act policy. Nurses, therefore, have a role of ensuring that the policy adheres to the patient’s ethical and legal rights such as good quality care, affordability of healthcare, decision-making ability, and improved access to healthcare.

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) is legislated by ACA to ensure that healthcare organizations are provided with incentives prioritize healthcare for all populations, including the marginalized, and collaborate with other providers and healthcare staff to widen the impact of the health system, promote quality care, control healthcare costs in order to decrease the burden of chronic diseases like diabetes and ensure better health outcomes (Bartels et al., 2015). Since chronic conditions like diabetes keep rising, especially among the minority communities, the ACA policy aimed to create evidence-based interventions aim to facilitate effective diabetes management in both healthcare and community settings to reduce the disease burden among minority communities such as African Americans.

As a nurse practitioner, to ensure that all the marginalized populations facing health disparities such as African Americans enjoy maximum benefit from the Affordable Care Act, I will conduct public awareness and improve patient education through numerous integrated systems and community programs. Marginalized populations with diabetes need information regarding the importance of health insurance coverage when managing diabetes (Baah et al., 2019). They need to be informed about the importance of enrolling in health insurance coverage. They also need to be educated about the healthcare costs in diabetes treatment and the increasing costs associated with late diagnosis of diabetes complications. Minority populations such as African Americans are likely to access care during tertiary stages of diabetes, which is very costly and results in poor health outcomes.

Through insurance coverage, the minority groups will afford early diagnosis and effective treatment (Correia et al., 2018). The health insurance will ensure individuals with diabetes participate in routine clinical services such as HbA1c testing, eye examinations, and foot examination; this will help to reduce complications and mortality rates associated with diabetes.

With this information, people from the marginalized populations will discover the need to apply and enroll for insurance coverage and benefit maximally from the Affordable Care Act. Moreover, as a nurse practitioner, I will encourage the formation of support groups for people with diabetes where they can access educational support regarding positive lifestyle modifications such as the appropriate physical exercises and a healthy diet. I will also advocate for equal distribution of healthcare resources as per the Affordable Care Act to ensure that minority populations such as the marginalized ethnicities, the homeless, and people with low income. (Correia et al., 2018) The current medical model in the healthcare system focus on diagnosis and treatment, rather than health promotion and prevention. As a nurse practitioner, it is important to provide individualized care that is tailored according to the patient’s preferences, needs, choices, and values.

Conclusion

The selected healthcare policy is the Affordable Care Act. The policy aims to expand insurance coverage in order to improve access to healthcare services. As a result, the Affordable Care Act has increased access to healthcare even for the minority groups such as African Americans who have been facing various health disparities. Insurance coverage reduces healthcare costs and thus makes healthcare services affordable.

References

Baah, F. O., Teitelman, A. M., & Riegel, B. (2019). Marginalization: Conceptualizing patient vulnerabilities in the framework of social determinants of health-An integrative review. Nursing Inquiry, 26(1), e12268. https://doi.org/10.1111/nin.12268

Bartels, S. J., Gill, L., & Naslund, J. A. (2015). The Affordable Care Act, Accountable Care Organizations, and Mental Health Care for Older Adults: Implications and Opportunities. Harvard review of psychiatry, 23(5), 304–319. https://doi.org/10.1097/HRP.0000000000000086

Correia, J. C., Lachat, S., Lagger, G., Chappuis, F., Golay, A., & Beran, D. (2019). Interventions targeting hypertension and diabetes mellitus at community and primary healthcare level in low-and middle-income countries: a scoping review. BMC public health, 19(1), 1-

Courtemanche, C., Marton, J., Ukert, B., Yelowitz, A., & Zapata, D. (2018). Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Care Access and Self-Assessed Health After 3 Years. Inquiry: a journal of medical care organization, provision, and financing, 55, 46958018796361. https://doi.org/10.1177/0046958018796361

King, C. J., Moreno, J., Coleman, S. V., & Williams, J. F. (2018). Diabetes mortality rates among African Americans: A descriptive analysis pre and post-Medicaid expansion. Preventive medicine reports, 12, 20–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2018.08.001

Kominski, G. F., Nonzee, N. J., & Sorensen, A. (2017). The Affordable Care Act’s Impacts on Access to Insurance and Health Care for Low-Income Populations. Annual review of public health, 38, 489–505. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031816-044555

McIntyre, A., & Song, Z. (2019). The US Affordable Care Act: Reflections and directions at the close of a decade. PLoS medicine, 16(2), e1002752. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002752

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Select a current or proposed health care policy that is designed to improve a specific population’s access to quality, cost-effective health care. In a paper of 1,000-1,250 words, include the following:

Explain the policy and how it is designed to improve cost-effectiveness and health care equity for the population. Is the policy financially sound? Why or why not? How does the policy account for any relevant ethical, legal, and political factors and the nursing perceptive one must consider when implementing it?
To what state, federal, global health policies or goals is this particular policy related? How well do you think the policy is designed to achieve those goals?
Finally, discuss the advocacy strategies you would employ on behalf of your population to ensure they have access to the benefits of the policy. Explain, from a Christian perspective, the professional and moral obligation of advanced registered nurse to advocate for and promote health and prevent disease among diverse populations.
You are required to cite five to 10 sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and nursing content.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.

Benchmark Information

This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies:

MS Nursing: Education

2.1: Examine financially sound health care policy that incorporates the nursing perspective and relevant ethical, legal, and political factors.

2.2: Determine advocacy strategies for improving access, quality, and cost-effective health care for diverse populations.

4.2: Integrate appropriate state, federal, and global health policies and goals into the design of equitable health care for populations.

4.3: Examine the professional and moral obligation of master\’s-prepared nurses to respect human dignity and advance the common good through working to promote health and prevent disease among diverse populations from a Christian perspective.

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