ANA’s Cipriano, AARP’s Reinhard Comment on ACA’s Undoing

President Obama signing the ACA in 2010/via Wikimedia Commons

Nurses and the Undoing of the ACA

Many in the nursing community supported the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when it was first introduced. This is understandable, given our firsthand experience of patients who didn’t seek care until they were gravely ill because they lacked health insurance. We know how disease management can change outcomes for those with chronic illness and how preventive care can make the difference between having a treatable cancer or a metastasis.

In the years since, as both supporters and detractors continued to argue over the law and its need to be improved (or scrapped, depending on your viewpoint), over 20 million people gained health insurance and access to care.

Now as Congress moves to repeal and replace the ACA with a yet-to-be-determined plan, many are concerned that major gains will be lost and once again it will be the poor and vulnerable who will suffer. (I touched on some of the concerns in my March editorial.)

To get a little more insight, I spoke with two very policy-smart nurses about what might happen and what they feel should happen.

What ANA president Pam Cipriano said:

I asked ANA president Pam Cipriano what she thought was the most critical aspect of the gains from the ACA that need to be preserved. Her answer:

“We must […]

AJN in March: CKD Complications and Treatment, Writing Tips for Nurses, Acute Pain Management, More

The March issue of AJN is now live. Here are some articles we’d like to bring to your attention.

CE Feature: Improving Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: Part 2

The second installment of this two-part article addresses chronic kidney disease complications and treatment of kidney failure. Part 1, which appeared last month, offered an overview of the disease, describing identification and etiology, and discussed ways to slow disease progression.

CE Feature: Defining and Understanding Pilot and Other Feasibility Studies

Nurses are becoming increasingly involved in conducting clinical research in which feasibility studies are often the first steps. This article provides an overview of feasibility studies, including pilot studies, and explains the type of preliminary data they seek to provide in order to make larger, future studies more efficient and successful.

Original Research: How to Create a Poster That Attracts an Audience

Nurses developing a poster presentation for the first time who look for guidance in the literature will find many articles offering recommendations on format and style, but these are based on opinion rather than evidence. This study identifies the design principles and content-specific attributes of a poster that improve the chance that attendees at a […]

2017-03-06T14:48:04+00:00 February 27th, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

Baby Boxes: Gifts Intended to Educate New Parents About Safe Sleeping

A Gift for Every New N.J. Parent

When I had my first child in New Jersey more than a decade ago, the hospital sent me home with a bag of product samples, including a few diapers, a package of wipes, two cans of formula, and an assortment of coupons. These items were helpful to varying extents—I was breastfeeding and unlikely to buy the products featured on the coupons, but the wipes and diapers certainly came in handy. So did the little hat a nurse put on my son’s head soon after birth. With its horizontal pink and blue stripes, this soft beanie that actually stayed in place was ever present during his first few weeks. It was the most useful and well-loved relic of our hospital stay.

The parents of infants in New Jersey are now given an even more practical item, one that also has the potential to reduce infant mortality rates: a baby box. This laminated, nontoxic cardboard box is packed with items that are essential during the early days of parenthood—including diapers, wipes, clothing, and breast pads—but it’s also a bed. The box, which includes a mattress and sheet, provides a safe place for infants to sleep during their first year. It’s free to all new and expectant parents in the state who watch a 20-minute educational video and take a quiz online. Upon completion, they receive a certificate that allows them to pick up the box at a local distribution center or order it by mail.

2017-02-24T09:44:54+00:00 February 24th, 2017|Nursing, Public health|0 Comments

An Oncology Nurse’s Perspective on the Health Insurance Situation

Money Bag/ by Julianna Paradisi/ all rights reserved

Costly Care

I was an oncology infusion nurse in a hospital-based ambulatory center for a number of years, many of them before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010. Besides administering chemotherapy and blood products, I infused medications to patients with sickle cell anemia as well as chronic autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Crohn’s disease.

The common denominator among these diseases is the high cost of the medications used to treat them, at the time ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 per treatment. I know, because patients told me, their nurse.

I also know because uninsured patients were required to fill out paperwork declaring their lack of income, prior to receiving authorization for charitable treatment. If they were sick enough, they were admitted to the hospital for initial treatment, at more expense than outpatient infusion, until the paperwork was completed and approved.

These were particularly difficult times to be an infusion nurse.

Some patients lost their jobs during cancer treatment, because the cost of their cancer care increased their employer’s insurance coverage risk pool rates.

Other patients worked night shift before arriving, sleepless, for chemotherapy as soon as we opened in the morning. They couldn’t afford to lose their health […]

2017-02-22T14:53:49+00:00 February 22nd, 2017|health care policy, Nursing, Public health|1 Comment

AJN February Issue News: Linking RN Perception of Workplace Safety and Patient Care, Aid for Family Caregivers, More

AJN’s monthly news section covers timely and important research and policy stories that are relevant to the nursing world. Here are some of the stories you’ll find in our current issue:

A hospital nurse prepares toxic medication using a biological safety cabinet. Photo © Horizon International Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo.

How Does RN Perception of Workplace Safety Relate to Patient Care?

A new report by health care consulting firm Press Ganey found that higher nurse-rated scores for workplace safety and surveillance capacity were associated with higher nurse ratings of quality of care, lower rates of missed-care events, and lower rates of pressure ulcers and patient falls.

Bipartisan Bills Propose Assistance for Caregivers

Two bills currently before Congress would reduce burdens of care for family members, if passed: one would establish a national strategy to support caregivers from the community to the federal levels, and the other proposes a tax credit of up to $3,000 […]

2017-02-21T10:16:42+00:00 February 21st, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments