|Healthcare reform has been a highly debated topic in the United States for decades. Over the previous few years, discussions on this subject have become even more prevalent. In the early part of 2010, the United States government implemented new legislation on healthcare reform. There is no intent here to provide a political viewpoint and/or address the specifics of any of the healthcare reform legislation - but rather to call attention to the professionals that care for the people in our own communities.|
In the latter part of 2010, several line items contained within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) went into effect:
As per Section 2714 of the PPACA, Extension of Dependent Coverage, "a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage that provides dependent coverage of children shall continue to make such coverage available for an adult child (who is not married) until the child turns 26 years of age."
As per Section 2704 of the PPACA, Prohibition of Preexisting Condition Exclusions or Other Discrimination Based on Health Status, "a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not impose any preexisting condition exclusion with respect to such plan or coverage."
As per Section 2711 of the PPACA, No Lifetime or Annual Limits, "a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits for any participant or beneficiary."
In March 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, proposed new rules under the Affordable Care Act to help doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare providers better coordinate care for Medicare patients through Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The ACOs create incentives for health care providers to work together and the Medicare Shared Savings Program will provide rewards for ACOs that lower growth in health care costs. The Medicare Shared Savings Program was implemented in early 2012.
Healthcare reform continues throughout 2012. During the early part of 2012, billions of dollars of funding were provided to establish and expand community based alternatives to institutionalized long term care. In the latter part of 2012, initial regulations will go into effect that will encourage and reward for the use of electronic record keeping.
The declaration herein that "Nurses are Key to Healthcare Reform" is necessary to remind us and to continue to create awareness as to the importance of our nursing professionals. Regardless of what legislation may be proposed and/or passed at this time, it remains a fact that nurses have been and always will be an integral part of our healthcare system. The role of the nurse and the respect of the nurse cannot be overlooked when it comes to healthcare reform. Without high quality nursing professionals to provide the healthcare service, healthcare reform cannot succeed.
Legislation to serve as a perfect solution to solve ALL of our current healthcare issues and any future issues is impossible. Healthcare reform that is now coming into legislation will continue to be a debate in this country. Healthcare reform will be an ongoing process in the United States. As the healthcare reform debate continues, it is important to remember the professionals that actually provide the healthcare service. Let's forever call attention to a very key aspect of healthcare reform:
Nurses are Key to Healthcare Reform
Copyright 2012, Nurses are Key to Healthcare Reform. All rights reserved.