NURS 8100 Issues in Health Care Reform (Interview)

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A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 8100 Issues in Health Care Reform (Interview)

Title: NURS 8100 Issues in Health Care Reform (Interview)

Health reform involves revamping a country’s or state’s health care system. It entails addressing the ever-rising costs of health care for individuals, families, and the government. Health reforms center on improving the benefits citizens receive from the country’s healthcare system and increasing access to health insurance. Healthcare reforms aim to lower the number of uninsured individuals, making healthcare more affordable and enhancing the quality of care. During this course, I met with a state legislator and discussed a healthcare reform issue that has caught my interest. The purpose of this paper is to give a summary and analysis of the interview and discuss the health care reform issues I presented.

Selected State Legislator

I planned to present my healthcare reform of interest to a legislator from my state Illinois. With the help of my colleagues, I was able to plan a meeting with Representative LaToya Greenwood through her personal assistant. Greenwood is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives. She has represented the 114th district since January 2017 and is the chairperson of the Health Care Availability and Access Committee (Illinois General Assembly, n.d.).

She is also a member of several other committees such as Prescription Drug Affordability; Agriculture & Conservation; Approp-Elementary & Secondary Education (Vice-Chairperson); Data Analytics & IT; Appropriations-Human Services; Cybersecurity, Public Utilities; Museums, Arts, & Cultural Enhancement.

Rep. LaToya Greenwood was the legislator of choice due to her admirable track record. She has chiefly sponsored numerous bills as a Representative. She recently passed House Bill 4645 to strengthen minority representation in health care and stop the uneven quality of care across underserved communities (Illinois General Assembly, n.d.). The bill was founded on her belief that every citizen in Illinois deserves the highest quality of health care at an affordable cost. Furthermore, Rep. Greenwood is dedicated to fighting for affordable prescription drugs and increasing the workforce in public health.

Summary of the Interview

The PA scheduled a one-hour meeting on 15th April 2022 at the Representative’s office from 10 am to 12 pm. The Rep welcomed me to her office, and after establishing rapport, I explained my purpose for the meeting and the desired outcomes from the meeting. The health care reform of interest was the introduction of a bill on mandatory Nurse-to-Patient ratios in all healthcare settings across Illinois.

I explained to the Rep that hospitals in Illinois do not observe the WHO-recommended nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, which are purposed to promote safe patient care and prevent nurse burnout. I gave an example of the California nurse-to-patient staffing ratios act. The bill was passed to address the increasing concern that patients’ safety is often compromised by inadequate staffing attributed to the increasing severity of health conditions and complexity of care (Livanos, 2018).

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I explained the benefits of enacting a bill on mandate nursing ratios, including the challenges the state currently faces due to the lack of that reform. There is a connection between nurse workload and patient morbidity and mortality rates. Hospitals with unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios overwork their nurses, resulting in burnout. Features of hospitals with high nursing workloads include increased incidences of medical errors and missed nursing care. Various studies found a high prevalence of hospital-acquired infections, like urinary tract infections and pneumonia, and failure to perform CPR in facilities with a high nurses’ workload.

NURS 8100 Issues in Health Care Reform (Interview)
NURS 8100 Issues in Health Care Reform (Interview)

I informed Rep. Greenwood that the biggest benefits from a health reform on safe nurse-to-patient ratios would be improved patient outcomes, reduced morbidity and mortality rates, reduced nursing turnover, and increased patient and staff satisfaction (Griffiths et al., 2018). Safe staffing ratios are equivalent to greater job satisfaction and reduced nurse turnover, saving organizations from the costs spent in frequently hiring new nurses. nurse-to-patient ratios influence most patient outcomes, most noticeably in mortality rates.

Nurse staffing ratios are linked to a higher likelihood of patient survival. Lee et al. (2018) found that patients were 95% more likely to stay alive when health facilities observed a hospital-mandated nurse-to-patient ratio. Besides, managing critically ill patients in settings with high nursing workloads and unsafe staffing ratios was associated with a significant decrease in the odds of survival.

Potential Challenges with the Health Reform

We discussed the potential challenges of enacting mandatory nurse staffing ratios and approaches to address them with Rep. Greenwood. I explained that the main shortcoming of the health reform is that health organizations will be mandated to increase the number of nurses without getting increased reimbursement for patient care.

Besides, the costs of hiring additional nurses needed for the increased mandated ratios will not be compensated by additional payments to health organizations (de Cordova et al., 2019). This will lead to unfunded mandates. Fortunately, the challenge can be addressed by providing a market-based incentive to healthcare organizations to improve nurse staffing levels (de Cordova et al., 2019). This will separate nursing care from the current room and board charges and adjust healthcare payments for optimum nursing care.

Feedback from the Legislator

Rep. Greenwood was pleased with the presentation since she is devoted to increasing the workforce in Illinois public health. She agreed that the proposed reform would significantly improve nurses’ working environment and quality of patient care resulting in improved health outcomes. She requested that I leave her with the printed proposal so that she can through it and make amendments where necessary. She also stated that she would organize another meeting to discuss the amendments and the way forward.

Conclusion

Enacting mandatory staffing ratios is the healthcare reform of interest. I presented the reform to Rep. LaToya Greenwood of the Illinois House of Representatives representing the 114th district. I presented the reform to Rep. Greenwood and discussed the benefits of enacting the bill on patients’ health outcomes and nurses’ job satisfaction. We also discussed potential challenges and solutions.

References

de Cordova, P. B., Rogowski, J., Riman, K. A., & McHugh, M. D. (2019). Effects of Public Reporting Legislation of Nurse Staffing: A Trend Analysis. Policy, politics & nursing practice20(2), 92–104. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527154419832112

Griffiths, P., Maruotti, A., Recio Saucedo, A., & Redfern, O. C. (2018). Nurse staffing, nursing assistants and hospital mortality: retrospective longitudinal cohort study. BMJ Qual Saf.. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2018-008043

Illinois General Assembly. (n.d.). Representative Biographyhttps://www.ilga.gov/house/Rep.asp?MemberID=2902

Lee, A., Cheung, Y. S. L., Joynt, G. M., Leung, C. C. H., Wong, W. T., & Gomersall, C. D. (2018). Are high nurse workload/staffing ratios associated with decreased survival in critically ill patients? A cohort study. Annals of intensive care7(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13613-018-0269-2

Livanos, N. (2018). A broadening coalition: Patient safety enters the Nurse-to-Patient ratio debate. Journal of Nursing Regulation9(1), 68-70. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2155-8256(18)30056-5

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 8100 Issues in Health Care Reform (Interview)

Title: NURS 8100 Issues in Health Care Reform (Interview)

Significant transformations in healthcare have been witnessed in the US over the past one decade. The transformations mainly target at improving the health and wellbeing of the America citizens irrespective of their backgrounds. The reforms aim to achieve this by increasing the populations covered by different health insurance schemes, which will improve access and utilization of healthcare services by the diverse populations (Jones, 2017). Despite these benefits, significant challenges surround the transformations. For instance, concerns have been raised on whether the reforms will be of importance in the long-term. Therefore, this paper expounds on these issues based on the interview I conducted with the director of health in our state.

Summary and Analysis of the Interview

The interview was conducted on 5 January 2020 at the director’s office. In my view, the interview was a success since the director explored a wide range of issues on healthcare reforms. The director was keen on ensuring that all the questions asked were tactfully addressed. The main areas of focus in the interview included achievements of healthcare reforms, opportunities for healthcare institutions, challenges with the reforms and ways of addressing them. According to the director, significant successes have been reported with the adoption of healthcare reforms in the US. The success can be seen in the percentage of American citizens who have access to their needed care in the modern world. As reported by her, the healthcare reforms have not only increased healthcare access for the ethnic minorities but also individuals from non-minority communities that are unemployed. The consequences of these improvements are a significant rise in the utilization of healthcare services and healthier populations.

The director also reported that the adoption of healthcare reforms has led to a significant improvement in the quality of care offered to the American citizens. Accordingly, it has shifted the payment system for healthcare services where hospitals that meet the goals of value-based purchasing system receive higher numeration than those that does not. There has also a significant improvement in the protection of data of the patients since institutions have to abide by regulations guiding its use. Health organizations have also embraced new technologies that have enhanced the safety, efficiency, and quality of care (Thompson, 2015). Therefore, she was optimistic that the achievements reported with the adoption of healthcare reforms are expected to transform the healthcare system of the US in the future.

Moreover, the director was keen to note that there exist opportunities that can be explored to enhance the efficiency of the healthcare reforms. She expressed the increased need for healthcare stakeholders to focus on upholding the principle of doing no harm to others. In this case, she expressed that while most people have criticized the use of single-payer system to be unsustainable; it should not be disbanded but be fixed. The imperfections in the Affordable Care Act need to be fixed with the aim of increasing insurance coverage to the Americans who are not insured. The director gave four ways in which this can be achieved. Firstly, the legislators should consider expanding the eligibility for tax credit offsets. This will raise the number of poor individuals who can afford the premiums. Secondly, there is a need for the states to provide citizens with enhanced tax credit offsets. This will specifically benefit the young adults with low income (Shaw, 2017). Lastly, the Medicaid eligibility should be expanded to a level that ensures that a majority of the poor can afford the cost of premiums in the state insurance cover. Through these interventions, the goals of healthcare reforms can be achieved.

The director expressed concerns that despite the success in healthcare reforms, the implementation process has experienced significant challenges. Firstly, there has been considerable resistance from healthcare institutions in the implementation of some provisions. Successful implementation of the healthcare reforms demands the restructuring of most processes of health care organizations. The restructuring require the use of financial resources to acquire new technologies and train staffs on its use (Shaw, 2017). As a result, the adoption process must consider the needs and concerns of healthcare institutions, hence, the challenge.

In addition, the director also expressed that the implementation process could be affected adversely by the rising costs of healthcare in the US. According to evidence, the cost of healthcare in the US is higher than any other developed state in Europe and the rest of the world. The high cost is expected to rise further with the adoption of the reforms. The rise is attributed to a decline in the population covered by the employers in the state (Jones, 2017). The consequence of such change will be an increase in consumer spending on healthcare, hence, the rise in healthcare cost and unaffordability of care to a majority of the citizens.

The last part of the interview was on the ways in which the above challenges can be addressed. According to the director, there is a need for the expansion of federal coverage to solve the cost-related issues affecting the reforms. The coverage should be nationwide with states having complete responsibility for the vulnerable in the society. The second recommendation is retaining the Medicaid expansion for individuals with income level below 138% of the poverty levels to increase affordability and coverage (Thompson, 2015). Lastly, coverage should be comprehensive to cover all the healthcare needs of the diverse populations.

Conclusion

In summary, the interview revealed that the adoption of healthcare reforms in the US have achieved significant milestones in promoting the health of the American citizens. There has been an increase in healthcare access, affordability, and utilization among the population. Despite these achievements, the adoption process has faced challenges related to financial implications it has on health care organizations. Therefore, it is important that a focus be placed on ensuring that the challenges are addressed to realize the full benefits of the reforms.

References

Jones, D. K. (2017). Exchange politics: Opposing Obamacare in battleground states. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Shaw, G. M. (2017). The dysfunctional politics of the Affordable Care Act.  Santa Barbara, CA: California Praeger.

Thompson, T. (2015). The Affordable Care Act. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.