Affordable Care Act Policy Evaluation
Program/policy evaluation is a valuable tool that can help strengthen the quality of programs/policies and improve outcomes for the populations they serve. Program/policy evaluation answers basic questions about program/policy effectiveness. It involves collecting and analyzing information about program/policy activities, characteristics, and outcomes. This information can be used to ultimately improve program services or policy initiatives.
Nurses can play a very important role assessing program/policy evaluation for the same reasons that they can be so important to program/policy design. Nurses bring expertise and patient advocacy that can add significant insight and impact. In this Assignment, you will practice applying this expertise and insight by selecting an existing healthcare program or policy evaluation and reflecting on the criteria used to measure the effectiveness of the program/policy.
- Review the Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation Analysis Template provided in the Resources.
- Select an existing healthcare program or policy evaluation or choose one of interest to you and get approval to use it from your Instructor.
- Review the healthcare program or policy evaluation and reflect on the criteria used to measure the effectiveness of the program or policy described.
The Assignment: (2–3 pages)
Based on the program or policy evaluation you selected, complete the Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation Analysis Template. Be sure to address the following:
- Describe the healthcare program or policy outcomes.
- How was the success of the program or policy measured?
- How many people were reached by the program or policy selected?
- How much of an impact was realized with the program or policy selected?
- At what point in program implementation was the program or policy evaluation conducted?
- What data was used to conduct the program or policy evaluation?
- What specific information on unintended consequences was identified?
- What stakeholders were identified in the evaluation of the program or policy? Who would benefit most from the results and reporting of the program or policy evaluation? Be specific and provide examples.
- Did the program or policy meet the original intent and objectives? Why or why not?
- Would you recommend implementing this program or policy in your place of work? Why or why not?
- Identify at least two ways that you, as a nurse advocate, could become involved in evaluating a program or policy after 1 year of implementation.
Affordable Care Act Policy Evaluation
(notes, please use the template).
Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation Analysis
|Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation
Evaluation of The Affordable Care Act (ACA)Policy
|Patient protection and Affordable Health Care Act, also popularly known as ‘Obama Care’ is a health policy that was signed into law by President Barrack Obama on 23rd March, 2010. At the moment, the policy stands out as the most extensive in the United States’ healthcare system since the approval of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The impacts of the policy have been vast and wide. The most significant element of the policy is that it provides subsidies which make healthcare insurance affordable (Blumenthal et Al., 2015). Another aspect of the policy is that it emphasizes on preventive care by improving legislations that govern how the care itself is delivered.
|How was the success of the program or policy measured?
|The success of the ACA policy can only be effectively measured by considering how much it reduces the number of uninsured people and if it improves the quality of care, whose availability will be at a low cost. Its success will also be quantified by reviewing the federal and state budget s which will take several tears to be noticeable. Basically, it can be said that the policy has been successful at availing affordable care to millions of Americans. This is because, following its introduction, more than 20million people have been able to access healthcare insurance with more medical coverage. In addition, those where poorly insured get a chance to access quality medical insurance at a relatively low cost.
|How many people were reached by the program or policy selected? How much of an impact was realized with the program or policy selected?
|Before the implementation of ACA, may people were uninsured due to the loopholes in the public insurance system, and inaccessibility to affordable health insurance. The ACA policy has demonstrated the largest gains in coverage in the history of United States’ healthcare. The policy extended medical coverage to low income earners and provided subsidies to the people below 400% of poverty. For instance, after it was signed in 2010, the number of uninsured elderly people reduced from 44 million in 2013 to 27 million in 2016.
|What data was used to conduct the program or policy evaluation?
|Evaluation of a healthcare policy involves a thorough activity of gathering, examining, and the use of evidence based data to come up with answers to some fundamental questions arising from the policy. Policy evaluations may be of various types such as process and outcome evaluations, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness evaluations, and formative and summative evaluations. In terms of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness, the ACA demands for all insurance companies to scrap off annual and lifetime limits and cover all costs to reduce the unnecessary catastrophic costs for individuals (French et Al., 2016).
|What specific information on unintended consequences were identified?
|Healthcare providers continue to utilize several strategies to adapt and remain compliant to the requirements of the ACA policy. However, as the policy continues to take root, it yields to unintended consequences. These include continuity of care whereby different organizations are unable to offer consistent care, which often arises from transferring patients from system to system (Dubois, 2015). Another consequence is the outpatient treatment. The policy advocates for 60% outpatient care and 40% in patient, which is a disadvantage since most patients view hospitals as safer places of in case of adverse reactions, a sense of security that they may not have with outpatient facilities.
|What stakeholders were identified in the evaluation of the program or policy? Who would benefit most from the results and reporting of the program or policy evaluation? Be specific and provide examples.
|The main stakeholders in the ACA policy are patients, insurance companies, healthcare providers, and the government (Weiner et Al., 2017). The patients benefit most from ACA because it minimizes the rise in healthcare costs making it accessible even to low income earners.
|Did the program or policy meet the original intent and objectives? Why or why not?
The policy has certainly met its original intent by a considerable percentage. A lot of reforms are evident in the healthcare sector courtesy of the ACA policy. For instance, the number of uninsured people has relatively reduced from 44 million in 2013 to 27 million in 2016.
|Would you recommend implementing this program or policy in your place of work? Why or why not?
|I would recommend implementation of some of the provisions of the ACA policy like improving communication when dealing with low literacy patients. This assist in improving patient care, and satisfaction thus promoting a good public reputation for the institution.
|Identify at least two ways that you, as a nurse advocate, could become involved in evaluating a program or policy after one year of implementation.
|As a nurse, I would compare the financial input and outcomes in the organizations utilizing the ACA provisions. I would also look at the labor costs to establish if the healthcare facilities incur positive or negative financial impacts. Secondly, I would also have a look at the patient outcomes before and after implementation of ACA policy provisions.
|The ACA policy has generally improved the health sector of the United States in terms of accessibility and affordability. Health facilities are encouraged to continue implementing the provisions of the policy to improve patient care and satisfaction.
Blumenthal, D., Abrams, M., & Nuzum, R. (2015). The affordable care act at 5 years.
Dubois, R. W. (2015). The Affordable Care Act: how can we know whether the intended consequences are occurring and the unintended ones are being avoided? Clinical therapeutics, 37(4), 747-750. Retrieved from https://www.spmmv.ac.in/ecoll/docs/business-models/3.pdf
French, M. T., Homer, J., Gumus, G., & Hickling, L. (2016). Key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): a systematic review and presentation of early research findings. Health services research, 51(5), 1735-1771. Doi: 10.1108/IJHCQA-01-2014-01109
Weiner, J., Marks, C., & Pauly, M. (2017). Effects of the ACA on Health Care Cost Containment. LDI issue brief, 24(4), 1-7. Retrieved from https://www.bls.lov/ois/oes_emp.htm