Select a healthcare related policy — one in existence — and in a policy brief paper explain its purpose and impact.
As this is a cumulative examination, your analysis must include how the policy influences some or all of the realms explored this semester. Demonstrate your understanding of the complexities of healthcare.
In considering which policy to examine [I considered specifying the topic, but prefer to let your creativity flow], adopt a broad perspective. Appropriate topics range from broad public health initiatives (mandatory seat belt use, prohibition on tobacco advertising, older drinking age) to fiscal influencer (readmission penalties, never events, HIT incentives and penalties, block grants) to operational mandates (CON requirements, limits on training hours, EMTALA, quality improvement initiatives).
Condensing your research and findings into a concise and precise policy brief.
Examples of Policy Briefs
Stephen L. Wagner. (2021). The United States Healthcare System: Overview, Driving Forces, and Outlook for the Future.
Mery, G., Majumder, S., Brown, A., & Dobrow, M. J. (2017). What do we mean when we talk about the Triple Aim? A systematic review of evolving definitions and adaptations of the framework at the health system level. Health Policy, 121(6), 629–636. Book.
Kenneth L. Johnson, & Stephen L. Walston. (2021). Healthcare in the United States: Clinical, Financial, and Operational Dimensions. Health Administration Press.
Leigh Cellucci. (2019). Essentials of Healthcare Management: Cases, Concepts, and Skills, Second Edition: Vol. Second edition. Health Administration Press.
Expert Solution Preview
The selected healthcare-related policy for this policy brief paper is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The purpose of this policy is to increase access to affordable healthcare and improve the quality of healthcare in the United States. It was enacted in 2010 and has had a significant impact on various realms explored in this semester’s study of healthcare.
The ACA aimed to expand healthcare coverage by implementing several provisions, including the expansion of Medicaid eligibility, the creation of Health Insurance Marketplaces, and the requirement for individuals to have health insurance or face penalties. Additionally, the law introduced consumer protections such as prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions or charging higher premiums based on health status.
Impact on Healthcare Realms:
1. Access to Healthcare:
The ACA has expanded access to healthcare for millions of previously uninsured individuals. Through the expansion of Medicaid, low-income individuals and families gained access to comprehensive health coverage. The creation of Health Insurance Marketplaces also provided a platform for individuals to compare and purchase private health insurance plans. These initiatives have increased the number of insured Americans and reduced the financial barriers to accessing healthcare services.
2. Quality of Healthcare:
The ACA includes provisions aimed at improving the quality of healthcare. It promotes the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) to enhance coordination and continuity of care. The law also established various quality improvement programs, such as Hospital Value-Based Purchasing and the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. These initiatives incentivize healthcare providers to deliver high-quality care and reduce preventable hospital readmissions.
3. Cost of Healthcare:
One of the main objectives of the ACA was to address the rising costs of healthcare in the United States. The law introduced measures to control healthcare spending, such as the creation of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and the implementation of bundled payment models. These payment reforms aim to promote cost-effective and coordinated care delivery. Additionally, the ACA included provisions to address healthcare fraud and abuse, contributing to cost savings.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had a significant impact on healthcare in the United States. By expanding access to affordable healthcare, improving the quality of care, and implementing cost-containment strategies, the ACA has aimed to address the complex challenges of the healthcare system. However, it is important to recognize that the ACA has been subject to ongoing debates and modifications, highlighting the ongoing complexities of healthcare policy.