Discussion: Improving Population Health

Discussion: Improving Population Health

Discussion: Improving Population Health

Question Description

Respond to your colleagues’ explanations by expanding on them and providing an example that supports them, or by respectfully challenging their explanation and providing an example.

*Please keep in mind that your classmates will be referred to as colleagues throughout this program.

Post by a Classmate:

RE: Week 3 Discussion

NURS 6050- Population Health Policy and Advocacy

Discussion in Week 3

Healthcare, Economics, and Ethical Considerations

There is no doubt that money and economics drive our society today. Churches, charitable organizations, and humanitarian

Discussion Improving Population Health
Discussion Improving Population Health

organizations all require money and funding to stay open. There is an economic engine that drives healthcare delivery, and as our text graciously puts it, “Similarly, the healthcare market as viewed by economists is amoral: When confronted with finite resources, there will be losers and winners.” This is a difficult concept for nurses to grasp” (Mistead, 2016, p. 285).

This week’s topic is the tumultuous relationship between cost and care. As a registered nurse who has cared for many patients, I wish nothing but the best for their health and well-being. Though I would like to say that healthcare has strengthened its humanistic position as outlined by the Nightingale pledge, romanticized ideals of healthcare are fading, and a postmodern technology and economics driven engine is now propelling healthcare into the future.

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The supply and demand curve is frequently used in a simple economic model to teach basic economic principles. One of the many factors contributing to rising healthcare costs is that demand exceeds supply (Knickman & Kovner, 2015, p. 219). When demand rises in the basic goods and services model, several things happen: first, prices tend to rise; second, the free market sees an opportunity to meet supply (and thus profit), so competition will supply the demanded goods and services; and finally, prices will stabilize once demand is met.

Demand for healthcare services is met in the healthcare market by hospitals, clinics, and other ancillary specialties that require trained and licensed professionals (Knickman & Kovner, 2015, p. 214-215). Of course, the healthcare market does not behave normally, because supply is “constrained by licensure and educational requirements” (Knickman & Kovner, 2015, p. 2019). Registered nurses, by far, make up the majority of health care occupations in the United States (Knickman & Kovner, 2015, p. 215), and they, like any supply chain, are susceptible to economic ups and downs.

Alameddine and his colleagues examined the implications of quality of care in healthcare when nursing labor forces froze or decreased in a narrative review on nursing labor markets during economic downturns (Alameddine et al., 2012). The paper advised larger healthcare employees and governments that adequately stabilizing, if not increasing, the nursing workforce during an economic downturn leads to the stabilization of healthcare provision and an increase in quality of care (Alameddine et al., 2012). It’s much easier said than done.

The Washington Post’s Rob Stein review of the prostate drug Provenge highlights the controversy that arose when Medicare officials considered the cost versus benefit of Provenge, in short, whether to pay for it or not (Stein, 2010). The debate over the cost of essential medications has recently dominated the healthcare debate, with pharmaceutical companies raising the price of Epipen and insulin. This raises the issue of the FDA issuing patents to companies to develop new drugs, effectively creating a monopoly in the market until the patent period expires and generics can be manufactured, a 20-year time frame (Pauly, 2018). Is it economically feasible to pay a million dollars for a brief increase in quality of life? In my opinion, it is not, but I recognize that 2 to 4 years with a loved one is subjectively invaluable for an individual but objectively costly for society.

There is widespread agreement that our medical care costs and delivery are inefficient and must be improved (Pauly, 2018). There is no silver bullet, in my opinion, because healthcare is a diverse and complex organism that necessitates a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to address inefficiency and waste. I believe that thorough discussion, free of personal biases, is the key to reaching compromises at all levels, from which we can eventually benefit society as a whole.


R. Stein (2010, November 08). The Provenge prostate cancer drug review reignites the medical cost-benefit debate. Retrieved on 14 March 2018 from…

M. Alameddine, A. Baumann, A. Laporte, and R. Deber (2012). A narrative review of the impact of economic downturns on the nursing labor market: policy and planning implications. 10 Human Resources for Health (1). doi:10.1186/1478-4491-10-23

J. Knickman, A. R. Kovner, and S. Jonas (2015). Health-care delivery in the United States, according to Jonas and Kovners (11th ed.). Springer Publishing Company, New York.

J. A. Milstead (2016). A Nurse’s Guide to Health Policy and Politics (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, Burlington, MA.

M. V. Pauly (2018). Will the Business of Healthcare and the Economics of Healthcare Ever Meet? International Journal of Business Economics, 25(1), pp. 181-189. doi:10.1080/13571516.2017.1395241

You should proofread your paper. However, do not rely solely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part, and your grade will suffer as a result. Papers with a high number of misspelled words and grammatical errors will be penalized. Before submitting your paper, go over it in silence and then aloud, and make any necessary changes. It is often beneficial to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Uncorrected mistakes are preferable to handwritten corrections.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point typeface (10 to 12 characters per inch). Smaller or compressed type, as well as papers with narrow margins or single spacing, are difficult to read. It is preferable to allow your essay to exceed the recommended number of pages rather than attempting to compress it into fewer pages.

Large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are also unacceptable, waste trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced, and have a one-inch margin on all four sides of each page. When submitting hard copies, use white paper and print with dark ink. It will be difficult to follow your argument if it is difficult to read your essay.

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