The PPACA was aimed to improve the health care system, offering affordable health insurance to more Americans, expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults that live below the poverty level, and to support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally (Lampert, 2009). The PPACA mandates that everyone that is legal will have health coverage in the United States or a penalty will have to be paid at the end of the year. With the influx of people now receiving healthcare, they will be seeking medical attention where in the past they would not. The increase in people seeking medical attention will result in a needed increase in nurses to take care of these patients and more training to gain more expertise and skills to be able to manage the emerging needs and diseases.
A key nursing provision is the health care workforce loan repayment program (Section 5203). This section focuses more on children. It has a focus on pediatric medical or surgical and children mental and behavioral health care. The repayment program will offer psychiatric nurses, social workers, and professional/school counselors up $35,000 a year in loan repayments for their participation in an accredited pediatric specialty residency program. A second key provision is public health workforce recruitment and retention programs (Section 5204). This provision is aimed at eliminating the shortage of public health agencies. This provision has offered a one third repayment of loans for an exchange of a contract of employment acceptance with a public health agency for three years. This program is offered to eligible public health or health professions.
I know my nursing career will be affected by the provisions that were listed above along with all the other provisions listed in the PPACA. Offering loan repayments will give nurses the incentive to obtain higher degrees. Recruitment and retention would likely decrease the nurse shortage by new nurses coming in and showing loyalty to the season nurses.
The effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) resonates profoundly in the U.S. healthcare environment and among the public. Two key provisions of the act include: 1) Guaranteed issue prohibits insurers from denying coverage to individuals due to pre-existing conditions; 2) Section 5204 Public health workforce recruitment and retention programs.
With the first requirement, health care setting experienced a rise in the number of new patients, as expected. Many of these patients were probably afraid or restricted from going to the hospital or seeking medical care due to the lack of healthcare coverage. The impact is that more people are seeking medical care. From my nursing practice, I observe some of these patients have chronic illnesses that have been neglected and thus require more care. Also, more patients come for medical services; emergency rooms fill with more patients. This increases patients’ population. In return, this affects nurse to patient ratios. Nurses have to care for more patients. They have to work extra time due to shortage of staff. The downsides is that nurse morale is low and the risks for medical errors are high.
The second nursing provision (Section 5204) retained refers to the established “Public Health Workforce Loan Repayment Program.” This provision gird to assure an adequate supply of public health professionals to eliminate workforce shortages in public health agencies. The positive impact of this provision is that government will repay up to “1/3 of loans incurred by a health professions student in exchange for an agreement to accept employment with a public health agency for at least three years” (CDC). Ultimately, this provision makes it easier to attract young people to the field of nursing. This will have a positive impact on the nursing shortage. It is an attract incentive for many current nurses to pursue their studies and opt for advanced degree in nursing. This is exactly what I am intended to do.