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Health Care Reform APA paper

NUR 3805 Dimensions of Professional Nursing Practice

Health Care Reform Paper


Purpose: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a sweeping health reform statute signed into law by President Obama in March of 2010. The ACA is the most significant government expansion and regulatory overhaul of the health system since the advent of Medicare and Medicaid.  The intent of the law is to expand insurance coverage, control health care costs, and to improve healthcare delivery systems.  Even as the ACA rolls out, much of the population (including nurses) lack understanding of the ACA, and question the value of the law in achieving its intended results. This assignment gives students the opportunity to explore how healthcare is organized and financed, and discuss how the Affordable Care Act affects population health, patient care quality and safety, and the practice of nursing.


Prepare: Complete the “Health Care Reform” study guide, watch videos and read the articles provided in the module.


Content: For the Health Care Reform PAPER, select ONE of the following questions that addresses/explores one aspect of the ACA. Write a brief (2-3 page) paper in APA format that provides a clear description that answers the question, AND reflect on why this information is important to you in your practice as a nurse, as a family member and/or as member of your community.


Choose ONE topic/question:

1. Describe the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the major goals and features of the law. How does the ACA differ from government-run healthcare in other countries?

2. What are the Health Insurance Marketplaces, and how do consumers enroll in health insurance? How do the exchanges work?

3. Describe the Medicare program, including eligibility, and program elements (Parts A, B, C, D). Describe Medicare expenditures for the most recent year.

4. Describe the Medicaid program, including eligibility by age and income. Explain Medicaid Expansion programs proposed under the ACA, and the current status of expansion programs in the United States.

5. One of the goals of the ACA is to decrease the number of uninsured people. How well has this goal been achieved? What population groups have been impacted the most by this increased coverage?

6. Define the concept of Hospital Value-based Purchasing (also known as pay-for-performance or performance-based reimbursement.  Provide examples of how hospitals are affected by value-based purchasing policies.

7. Define Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations.  How can these approaches improve population health, improve the quality of healthcare and lower costs?


Format: Apply APA format and style guidelines to write a 2- to 3-page paper, which should include a minimum of three references, one or more of which is an article from a peer-reviewed journal. No abstract is required for this paper.



See Discussion assignment instructions; students will post one substantive post and one substantive peer response to the following question: What does the Affordable Care Act mean for nursing? Base your initial post on information described in your Health Care Reform paper, supplemented by the Luther and Hart article (and/or more resources)! Grading will be evaluated by the Discussion Board Grading Rubric.

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