Why You Need to Know about the Proposed Health Care Plan

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin/Flickr/Gage Skidmore

AHCA Release Ignites Concerns from Right and Left

The administration’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was released earlier this week and has ignited a firestorm among Republicans and Democrats alike.

Democrats claim the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will create havoc and hardship for millions of the most vulnerable.

Many Republicans are worried about the plan’s effect on their constituents, while more conservative members of the GOP feel it doesn’t go far enough in repealing the ACA.

While there is a stated push by the new administration to “sell” the plan and implement it quickly to keep campaign promises, legislators in both parties are calling for time to examine the plan and analyze the cost of the plan, which has yet to be determined.

As almost everyone knows, finding a way to provide affordable health care in this country is very complicated and requires a delicate balance of funding by the federal government and states. It’s likely that there will be several changes before a final plan is in place.

What seems to be clear is that the changes coming down the road will have a direct impact on nurses, patients, and the institutions in which we work. Will staffing be cut if states lose federal reimbursements? […]

Nursing, HIV/AIDS, Continuity of Care, Treatment Advances, and the ACA: The Essentials

As the Affordable Care Act takes effect, a timely overview in AJN of recent developments in screening, treatment, care, and demographics of the HIV epidemic

CascadeofCare The ‘cascade of care’ (from the AJN article)

The newly released March issue of Health Affairs is devoted to looking at the ways the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect Americans with HIV/AIDS and those who have recently been in jail. One crucial feature of the ACA is that it prevents insurance companies from refusing coverage to those with a number of preexisting conditions. If you have a preexisting condition and don’t get insurance through work, you know how important this is.

Unfortunately, a large majority of those with HIV and AIDS do not have private health insurance. One article in the March issue of Health Affairs draws attention to the plight of the 60,000 or so uninsured or low-income people with HIV or AIDS who will not receive health insurance coverage because their states are among those that have chosen to opt out of the ACA provision that expands Medicaid eligibility. This means many patients in these states may lack consistent care and reliable access to life-saving drugs.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) improves patient quality of life and severely reduces expensive and debilitating or fatal long-term health problems in those with HIV/AIDS. As noted in AJN‘s March CE article, “Nursing in the […]

Forward or Back? Some Personal Notes on Why the Affordable Care Act Matters

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

So today the U.S. Supreme Court did something a little surprising in upholding the individual mandate provision in the Affordable Care Act (here’s the text of the full decision). It was the right thing to do, given judicial precedent, but it still comes as a surprise that Chief Justice Roberts was the swing vote rather than Kennedy, or that they actually did this. Justice Roberts must have looked to his conscience and seen how history would judge him. Or it’s nice to think so.

This is good for many reasons: those under 26 on their parents’ plans can now stay there. A bunch of money earmarked for nurse education will not suddenly disappear. Health care exchanges holding insurance companies to minimum standards will be implemented. Accountable care organizations can continue to experiment in an effort to replace the disastrously expensive fee-for-service model with one tied more closely to outcomes. And a great deal more.

But now we should ask ourselves: Do we go forward or back? This is the real question when it comes to the American health care system. Going back isn’t an option, though many are sure to go on pretending it is (the Republicans will make repealing the Affordable Care Act a centerpiece of their campaign promises, […]

Changes in Latitude: Comparing Health Care Systems with Nurses Down Under

By Peggy McDaniel, BSN, RN, who writes the occasional post for this blog and currently works as a clinical liaison support manager of infusion in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia Pacific.

I recently found myself sitting on a boat, enjoying a “sausage sizzle,” dressed as a pirate no less. In Australia, a party that includes barbecued meat usually includes sausage; thus the name. The pirate theme was an added bonus. As an American and a nurse, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself seated at the same table as two Australian nurses. What were the chances of that? The conversation that evening gave me some insight into the Australian health care system, which I am just getting familiar with.

Comparing health care systems. Once we all realized we were experienced nurses and shared the belief that quality patient care should always be the primary focus of health care, the conversation turned to cost. In Australia, there is a public health option that all Australians can access. It is paid for by taxes. If you choose to do so, you can also purchase a private plan to supplement this public option. I have yet to determine what part, if any, employers play in paying for health care or private insurance. However, a sick Australian will always get care and not incur […]

2016-11-21T13:11:39+00:00 October 26th, 2011|health care policy, nursing perspective|44 Comments

What Nursing Independence? And Other Notes from the Nursosphere…

Here’s some stuff we’re reading online this week:

In one of the health systems that I interface with nurses can no longer document that they held a patient’s medications based on ‘nursing judgment’. Such an instance might be when a patient had hypotension from pain medication and thus the morning anti-hypertensive is held. Instead, they need an order from a physician to hold such medication. Further, something like ‘Tylenol’ on a patient’s medication record ordered for fever could not be administered by the nurse for a headache if the patient requested it because that would be ‘practicing medicine without a license’.  A nurse cannot order a social services consult, flush a urinary catheter should it become clogged, refer a patient for diabetes education, etc., etc., without an order from the supervising physician.

That’s from a smart, if somewhat depressing, blog post at Nurse Story called “Independent Nursing Practice: Reality or Still the ‘Physician’s Hand’?” The writer, Terri Schmitt, goes on to wonder just how nurses can carve out areas of independent practice, even in the most basic matters. Good questions.

And here’s a question of interpretation raised by an incident in Colorado involving a nurse and the policeman who stopped her for speeding:

When Colorado Springs cardiac nurse Miriam Leverington was stopped for speeding, she grumbled to the police officer.

“I hope you are not ever my patient,” she reportedly told him.

What happened next has become a topic of widespread debate in Colorado and on the blogosphere. The police officer, Duaine Peters, complained to the […]

2016-11-21T13:15:39+00:00 September 21st, 2010|career, nursing perspective|0 Comments