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Benchmark – Diverse Population Health Policy Analysis

NUR-550 Benchmark – Diverse Population Health Policy Analysis

Medicaid health policy provides health coverage for low-income Americans, including seniors, children, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and parents (Van Dover et al., (2021). The federal government and states combine resources to fund the Medicaid program. The federal government has set broad guidelines for the program in all states. The program is decentralized, meaning that each state runs a Medicaid program under the rules set by the federal government. Over the years, the program kept expanding the medical coverage gap to meet the diverse population’s demands in an economic downtown. Currently, researchers confirm that Medicaid beneficiaries have more access to quality healthcare services when compared to uninsured citizens. Also, Statistics show that a fifth of the total personal healthcare spending is financed by the Medicaid program. This provides significant funding to hospitals, nursing homes, jobs in healthcare, and physicians in the U.S.  Madeline and Samantha (2022) also confirms that six out of ten American citizens admit to having benefited from the program.

Policy Description

•Title: Reducing Childhood Obesity through After-School Physical Activities and Weight Management Programs
Defining Elements

•30 minutes daily moderate to vigorous physical activity
•Limiting screen time
•Serving water as beverage and prohibiting sugar-sweetened drinks and food
•Intake of fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods
•Lessons on healthy eating

You will find important health information regarding minority groups by exploring the following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links:

  1. Minority Health: http://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealt/index.html

    Benchmark  Diverse Population Health Policy Analysis
    Benchmark  Diverse Population Health Policy Analysis
  2. Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations: http://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealt/populations/remp.html

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Childhood obesity risks children’s health and is among the leading causes of poor health outcomes in children. Health care policies play an instrumental role in reducing childhood obesity. After-school physical activities and weight management programs policy seeks to engage children differently after school to ensure that they are actively involved in activities that reduce their chances of becoming obese. These comprehensive programs include a combination of activities, including 30 minutes daily moderate to vigorous physical activity and limiting screen time. Reduced screen time is a weight management strategy since children do not lose the required daily calories when they sit for a long time. Other weight management programs include serving water and prohibiting sweetened drinks, and taking fruits and vegetables. Children should also be educated on the need for engaging in such programs.

Targeted Outcomes

•Increase opportunities for physical activity
•Prevent weight gain to reduce chances for developing obesity
•Reduce exposure to obesity risk factors such as increased screen time
•Boost children’s knowledge on obesity prevention and healthy living
•Apply evidence-based interventions in health promotion

Health care policies are formulated and implemented to achieve different health outcomes. The primary objective of the proposed policy is to increase opportunities for physical activity. Generally, not all learning institutions have the necessary facilities to promote physical activity. Also, school activities are highly demanding, hence the need for interventions outside the school setting to promote children’s health and well-being. By occupying children differently, after-school physical activities and weight management programs reduce exposure to obesity risk factors such as increased screen time. Increasing children’s knowledge also allows them to make correct decisions regarding food and physical activities. Overall, the policy promotes the application of evidence-based interventions in health promotion.

Diverse Population affected by the Policy

•Target population: school-going children
•Diversification: Children from low socioeconomic settings
Characteristics

•High physical, emotional, and mental development
•Exposure to peer pressure
•Poor decision-making
•Directly affected by family socioeconomic situations

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The target population is school-going children with particular attention to children from low socioeconomic settings. Kim and von

Benchmark – Diverse Population Health Policy Analysis
Benchmark – Diverse Population Health Policy Analysis

dem Knesebeck (2018) posited that people with low income are vulnerable to obesity since material conditions confine their access to healthy food and health care. Health-related behaviors such as dietary behaviors and physical activity are also affected by socioeconomic situations, putting children at a higher risk of nutritional and lifestyle diseases. School-age children are also characterized by high physical, emotional, and mental development. As a vulnerable population whose decision-making is also poor, policy interventions are necessary to reduce their vulnerability to obesity and secure their future health.

Improving Cost-effectiveness and Health Care Equity

Improving Cost-Effectiveness

•Programs that are the best value for money
•Immediate cost savings
•Proactive approach- prevents future risks
•Manageable at the family and community levels
•Does not risk school-going children to any adverse outcomes

Preventing or reducing obesity in the early years keeps children free from chronic illnesses that develop when a child is overweight. The intervention is a critical health action goal offering the best value for money since the primary goal is to prevent illness development. Accordingly, the policy provides immediate cost savings since families do not incur any costs associated with obesity treatment. Obesity-related medical care costs in the United States can consume an estimated $147 billion annually (Blumenthal & Seervai, 2018). Preventing future risks ensure that families’ and communities’ productivity remains at the desired levels. Importantly, after-school physical activity and weight management programs do not risk children’s health, implying that they reduce the overall costs of managing health at homes and communities.

Improving Cost-effectiveness and Health Care Equity

Improving Health Care Equity

•Health equity: ensuring that all populations get the chance to be as healthy as possible
•The Policy Promotes Health Equity By:
•Addressing issues beyond the target’s group control
•Resource provision to enhance access to health care
•Ensuring that children are in better control of their health
•Targeting low-income families and communities

Health equity problems are among the leading health care challenges in the United States. Liburd et al. (2020) described health equity as a means of ensuring all populations are as healthy as possible. In this case, factors beyond an individual’s or a population group’s control, such as lack of resources and discrimination, are addressed to enable all populations to receive their best health. The health care policy is designed to improve health care equity by addressing issues beyond children’s control, such as knowledge to reduce obesity and access to physical activity programs. The programs also ensure that children have access to the necessary resources to improve their health.

Why the Policy is Financially Sound

•Focuses on preventive health
•Does not require expensive facilitation
•Reduces the overall illness burden in families and communities
•Saves families’ income
•Can be implemented in large scale

Financially sound health care policies are designed to enable families, communities, and health care organizations to manage expenses. Weida et al. (2020) described such policies as interventions that focus on the primary facets of daily living, such as food security and financial health. Physical activity and weight management programs are financially sound since they focus on preventive health. In this case, it secures families’ future expenses of treating obesity, justifying the current investment. Such programs do not require expensive facilitation. They do not require expensive medication, monitoring, or equipment, among other expensive requirements for treating obesity. Prevention programs or obesity reduction programs also reduce the overall illness burden in families and communities. Eventually, running them becomes affordable and cost-effective.

Nursing Perspective, Ethical, Legal, and Political Factors

Incorporating the Nursing Perspective: people-centered approaches, goal-oriented tasks, and use of EBP recommendations

Ethical, Legal, and Political Factors

•Ethical- benefitting the target population
•Legal- using incentives to encourage healthy behavior
•Political- expanding community health and supporting programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP)

The policy incorporates the nursing perspective since its primary objective is to achieve the primary goal of nursing- illness prevention and health promotion. Achieving this goal or applying the perspective requires health care providers or policy promoters to use client-centered approaches, focus on goal-oriented tasks and use evidence-based practice (EBP) recommendations (Engle et al., 2021). Physical activity and weight management programs’ primary goal is to reduce childhood obesity. It is an ethical requirement to participate in programs that benefit the target population. Legally, it is recommended to use incentives that encourage healthy behavior besides protecting populations from any harm. Politics largely involves minding people’s welfare. The policy incorporates politics by expanding community health and supporting programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP).

State, Federal, and Global Health Goals

State goals-
•Enhance water access in schools
•Facilitate worksite wellness programs
Federal Goals-
•Regulating marketing and selling of junk foods [empowering children to live healthier lives]

Global Health Goals-
•Reduce non-communicable diseases (NDGs)
•Promote social inclusion
Health goals at the state, federal, and global levels vary in terms of their approach and scope as far as reducing childhood obesity through physical activity and weight management programs are concerned. Some state-based goals to reduce childhood obesity include enhancing water access to schools and facilitating worksite wellness programs. Water access ensures that children do not take sweetened drinks as alternatives while wellness programs promote physical activity. At the federal level, regulating the marketing and selling of junk focuses on enabling children to live healthier lives (Mozaffarian et al., 2018). At the global level, the sustainable development goal (SDG3) is the most related to childhood obesity since the primary goal is reducing non-communicable diseases (Ralston et al., 2021). Social inclusion by providing equal opportunities to engage in health care practices is also emphasized.

Degree of Achieving Equitable Health Care for the Target Children

State goals
•entirely replace sweetened drinks with water before, during, and after school (100% efficient).
•Worksite physical activity- makes physical activity a critical component of everyday life.
Federal goals
•Keep obesity rates low by using disincentives to discourage sale and production of junk foods (Mozaffarian et al., 2018).

Global goals
•SDG3:4- reduce mortality by one-third through illness prevention and promoting health (Ralston et al., 2021).
•Promote social inclusion by making people happier and healthier.
State, federal, and global health goals are designed to promote equitable health care for children to a huge extent. State goals such as replacing sweetened drinks with water are maximally efficient since they ensure all children can access water regardless of race, religion, and socioeconomic status. At the federal level, interventions to discourage the sale of junk food promote the health needs of all children and ensure that the law protects them from unhealthy eating. SDG3-4 primarily focuses on reducing mortality by one-third through illness prevention and promoting health (Ralston et al., 2021). Overall, these goals are centered on protecting children from lifestyle illnesses and reducing the illness burden caused by childhood obesity.

Advocacy Strategies for Improving Access, Quality, and Cost-effective Health Care

•Raising awareness
•Advocating for children’s right to optimal health
•Policymaking
•Supporting and engaging in community-based health programs
•Connect children to resources

Advocacy strategies for improving access, quality, and cost-effective health care involve direct services to particular populations to ensure they receive the desired health care services. Regarding school-going children, particularly from low socioeconomic backgrounds and vulnerable to obesity, raising awareness is a perfect way of improving access to health care. Awareness ensures that a population segment is more aware of its needs and rights and can take the necessary steps to promote healthy living.  It is also important to advocate and fight for children’s rights and take part in policymaking. Such policies ensure that children are not discriminated against, and the government supports them to access quality and cost-effective health care services (Cullerton et al., 2018). As times and situations prompt, community-based programs to expand health care services to children are also vital. Children can be connected to resources such as peer groups and information sources to enable them to live healthily.

Professional and Moral Obligation for Nurses

•Working as case managers
•Collaborate with patients to provide holistic care vital for optimal outcomes
•Work as communities’ and organizational consultants
•Serve as a committed primary caregiver that respects all populations
•Act as a strong patient advocates

The professional and moral obligation of master’s prepared nurses to respect human dignity and advance the common good through working to promote health and prevent disease among diverse populations from a Christian perspective is wide in scope and involves various duties and commitments. By working as case managers, master’s prepared nurses play a formal role of helping patients and families to navigate through the health care system. Master’s prepared nurses are also responsible for promoting holistic care as Christian principles recommend and serve as health consultants to promote the desired health care practices at the organizational and community level. They need to play their role as patients’ advocates actively too.

Professional and Moral Obligation for Nurses

•Disease prevention
•Anticipatory guidance
•Advocacy in preventive health
•Risk factor prevention
•Safety hazards’ monitoring
•Bridging resource gap

The professional and moral obligation of master’s prepared nurses also expands to include them in disease prevention by promoting health practices. They play this mandate by serving as educators regardless of their specialty. As health care providers spending most of their time with patients, anticipatory guidance is part of their obligation. Focus areas include safety, medications, nutrition, and preventive health through immunizations. As advocates of preventive health, risk factor prevention and safety hazards monitoring in different settings are part of the moral and professional obligation. From a Christian perspective, the nurse’s role should be utilizing individual skills to bridge the gaps between those with plenty and those with inadequacies. Achieving this objective requires wise use of knowledge, skills, theory, and research.

References

•Blumenthal, D. & Seervai, S. (2018, Apr 24). Rising Obesity in the United States Is a Public Health Crisis. The Commonwealth Fund. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2018/rising-obesity-united-states-public-health-crisis
•Cullerton, K., Donnet, T., Lee, A., & Gallegos, D. (2018). Effective advocacy strategies for influencing government nutrition policy: a conceptual model. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15(1), 1-11. https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12966-018-0716-y
•Engle, R. L., Mohr, D. C., Holmes, S. K., Seibert, M. N., Afable, M., Leyson, J., & Meterko, M. (2021). Evidence-based practice and patient-centered care: Doing both well. Health Care Management review, 46(3), 174-184. doi: 10.1097/HMR.0000000000000254
•Kim, T. J., & von dem Knesebeck, O. (2018). Income and obesity: what is the direction of the relationship? A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open, 8(1), e019862. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019862
•Liburd, L. C., Hall, J. E., Mpofu, J. J., Williams, S. M., Bouye, K., & Penman-Aguilar, A. (2020). Addressing health equity in public health practice: frameworks, promising strategies, and measurement considerations. Annual review of public health, 41, 417-432. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040119-094119
•Mozaffarian, D., Angell, S. Y., Lang, T., & Rivera, J. A. (2018). Role of government policy in nutrition—barriers to and opportunities for healthier eating. BMJ, 361. doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2426
•Ralston, J., Cooper, K., & Powis, J. (2021). Obesity, SDGs and ROOTS: a Framework for Impact. Current Obesity Reports, 10(1), 54–60. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13679-020-00420-y
•Weida, E. B., Phojanakong, P., Patel, F., & Chilton, M. (2020). Financial health as a measurable social determinant of health. PloS One, 15(5), e0233359. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233359

There exist different healthcare policies meant to enhance the delivery of quality healthcare. Some of the current healthcare policies include Affordable Care Policy, Medicare program, Medicaid, Children’s health insurance program, Patient Safety, and Quality Improvement Act. The main purpose of healthcare policies and procedures is to facilitate standardization in healthcare operational activities. Healthcare policies are critical or essential in providing correct procedures to be followed when dealing with issues as well as activities that are important to health and safety. The Affordable Care Act is one of the major current healthcare policies that has transformed the healthcare industry. The Affordable Care Act was passed and signed into law in the year 2010 (Barr, 2016). The policy aimed at providing affordable health insurance coverage to the entire American population. Affordable Care Policy was also created to protect healthcare consumers from costly private insurance companies and would sometimes put restrictions on the healthcare services for the patients. Over the years, millions of Americans have been able to benefit from the Affordable Care policy. Millions of Americans have experienced a significant reduction in healthcare costs. Before the implementation of the Affordable Care Policy, poor Americans could not get effective insurance coverage.  The purpose of the paper is therefore to examine the ACA and its attendant cost-effectiveness, relationship to other policies and advocacy strategies.

How the Affordable Care Policy Was Designed to Improve Cost-Effectiveness

And Health Care Equity for the Population

The Affordable Care Act was designed to enhance healthcare equity. The affordable Care policy was mainly designed to significantly reduce the differences in health outcomes among ethnic, racial, as well as primary language groups (Eichten, 2018). In other words, the policy was meant to address disparities in healthcare delivery and enhance the provision of healthcare to all the population irrespective of the level of income. The major goals of the Affordable Care Act included a reduction in healthcare costs, expansion of healthcare coverage, general improvement in healthcare quality, and population health. These factors were incorporated to reduce health disparities. With the reduced costs and expansion of coverage, ACA was meant to achieve healthcare equity for all the population. Different provisions of the Affordable Care Act directly impact insurers who have been forced to expand the number of people under the cover as well as the conditions under coverage.

To expand healthcare coverage and ensure reduced costs, Affordable Care Act created marketplaces called exchanges where people from different social-economic statuses could purchase health insurance and define their financial aid or assistance eligibility. There are three major types of marketplaces in ACA (Glied & Jackson, 2017). These marketplaces include state-based marketplaces, federal-based marketplaces, as well as state-partnership marketplaces. Since its inception in the healthcare industry, millions of Americans have been able to obtain medical services at a reduced cost. Also, the treatment of some diseases has been fully covered by Obamacare.

Financial Sustainability

Affordable Care Policy is financially sound. Before implementation, it was estimated that Obamacare would reduce the national debt by $140 billion. Also, it was established that the whole policy cost $940 billion considering all the factors that were to be included (Laureate Education, 2018). After the analysis, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office established the policy was effective given its ability to reduce the national budget. Also, The Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act passed Obama taxes as well as budget cuts in different areas, which generally generated more funds for implementing ACA. Given the effective balance of the budget, there were more funds available to offset the cost of the plan. Affordable Care policy accounts for relevant ethical, legal, and political factors as well as nursing perspectives. All these considerations need to be put in place during the implementation. Specifically, the policy advocates for quality healthcare delivery, application of research and evidence-based practices in the treatment processes, as well as dignity and racial sensitivity in the treatment processes. Through continuous legislations, the policy account for the political factors as well as nursing perspectives. All these issues ought to be considered in the implementation process.

Significance of Affordable Care Policy

The Affordable Care Act is related to different state, federal, and global health policies or goals that have been created over the years. In particular, the Affordable Care policy is related to the Global Health Policy (GHP). Global Health Policy mainly facilitates the allocation of resources in different nations and organizations to ensure access to quality healthcare services. Global Health Policy was formulated to address health challenges for the interdependent nations, sectors, and regions with multiple cultures and races, various levels of development, coexistent values, and a variety of capacities. In other words, Global Health Policy was formulated to address disparities when it comes to the management of population health. Similarly, the Affordable Care Policy was formulated to address disparities in the healthcare delivery processes. Also, both the Affordable Care policy and Global Health Policy aimed to improve healthcare delivery quality through research and innovation (Béland et al., 2019). The two organizations are more concerned with the qualification of healthcare professionals. During the formulation of ACA and GHP, there were considerations of different challenges in the healthcare systems, including costs and emerging diseases. Affordable Care Act is also related to the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA), a federal policy passed in the year 2005. Just like PSQIA, the Affordable Care Policy was meant to protect both patients and healthcare workers who are likely to report unsafe conditions. Affordable Care Policy was meant to address the goals of GHP and PSQIA through the allocation of enough resources and an increase in access to healthcare systems.

Advocacy Strategies

To ensure that the entire population benefit from the Affordable Care Policy, there is the need to create awareness and inform potential patients and healthcare professionals about the policy’s benefits. Giving patients a voice by informing them about their rights to healthcare services ensures that they can benefit from ACA. Besides, educating patients on the healthcare insurance policies will enable them to understand the requirements in the Affordable Care Policy and how they can benefit from it. In most cases, patients lack knowledge about different insurance policies, especially how they can draw benefits from them (Scott & Scott, 2020). From a Christian perspective, nurses have the responsibility of creating awareness geared towards ensuring quality health outcomes. Also, there is the need for patients from all races to have just and affordable healthcare services. An advanced registered nurse’s professional and moral obligation to advocate for and promote health and prevent disease among diverse populations. When it comes to the provision of quality care geared towards preventing diseases, nurses need to act as advocates to ensure equal treatment and benefits for all. Therefore, through advocacy, patients or different populations will be able to benefit from the Affordable Care Policy.

Conclusion

The Affordable Care Act is one of the major current healthcare policies that has transformed the healthcare industry. The Affordable Care Act was passed and signed into law in the year 2010. Affordable Care policy was mainly designed to significantly reduce the differences in health outcomes among ethnic, racial, as well as primary language groups. In other words, Affordable Care Act was meant to address disparities in healthcare delivery and enhance the provision of healthcare to all the population irrespective of the level of income. Affordable Care Policy is financially sound. Before implementation, it was estimated that Obamacare would reduce the national debt by $140 billion. To ensure that the entire population benefit from the Affordable Care Policy, there is the need to create awareness and inform potential patients and healthcare professionals about the policy’s benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Barr, D. A. (2016). Introduction to US Health Policy: the organization, financing, and delivery of health care in America. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Béland, D., Rocco, P., & Waddan, A. (2019). Policy feedback and the politics of the Affordable Care Act. Policy Studies Journal47(2), 395-422. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/psj.12286

Eichten, Z. (2018). Poison Pills: How Subtle Differences in Processes, Public Opinion, and Leadership Doomed the American Health Care Act and Passed the Affordable Care Act. https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/honors_thesis/56/

Glied, S., & Jackson, A. (2017). The future of the Affordable Care Act and insurance coverage. American journal of public health107(4), 538-540. https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303665

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Introduction to Health Policy and Law with Joel Teitelbaum [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Scott, S. M., & Scott, P. A. (2020). Nursing, advocacy and public policy. Nursing Ethics, 0969733020961823. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0969733020961823