HCA 320 Healthcare Policy and Economics Module 6 Discussion

HCA 320 Healthcare Policy and Economics Module 6 Discussion

HCA 320 Healthcare Policy and Economics Module 6 Discussion

HCA 320 Healthcare Policy and Economics

Module 6 Discussion

How do hospitals ensure they are meeting the needs of vulnerable populations within the communities that they serve?  What factors should be considered to ensure that nurses working in acute care settings meet the six Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Aims for Improving Healthcare Quality?

DQ1 UMBO – 2, 3

DQ1 PLG – 4, 5

DQ1 CLO – 1

Part 2: Needs of Vulnerable Populations

Vulnerable populations form part of most communities, and these communities have different needs and requirements. Therefore, it is important for professionals such as nurses and community health workers to identify the communities and assess their needs as appropriate, as identification and definition of the needs of such populations are important for the provision of the best care (Bantham et al.,2021). Therefore, the purpose of part two of the assignment is to research three rural populations in our states, discuss the most surprising facts regarding demographics and social determinants of health, and discuss various services that are limited, difficult to access, unaffordable, and difficult to access. In addition, this assignment will discuss the relationship between social determinants of health and people who are medically and/or socially underserved.

Most Surprising Aspects About Social Determinants of Health And Demographics

The three rural communities found in Maryland include Chestertown, Oakland, and Leonardtown. The most surprising aspect of SDOH in Chestertown is income disparities, as others have higher incomes and enjoy comfortable lives. On the other hand, others have huge economic challenges (“UMSRH,” 2019). The other one is racial disparity. In Oakland, the most surprising thing was rural isolation as it is relatively isolated from the main populations such as Washington D.C and Baltimore, which may lead to limited access to healthcare services. For Leonardtown, the most surprising aspect is economic diversity and access to healthcare. These aspects were surprising since I expected them to have influence from bigger cities, such as Washington, D.C., to increase access.

Services Difficult to Access For The Patient Population

The rural setup of the selected areas means that the populations may have various limited services. For example, while there are hospitals in the county, the big hospitals are located in the urban and semi-urban areas. Therefore, the populations have limited access to referral services offered in these bigger hospitals. Patients who could be living with conditions that need services from the bigger hospitals can find it challenging to access such facilities (Cyr et al.,2019). In addition, a good number of people living in these rural areas have economic challenges. Therefore, they may find affording transport to visit these hospitals challenging, which also makes the access more difficult.

Relationships Between SDOH and Medically And/Or Socially Underserved In The Selected Location

It was important to explore the medically and/or socially underserved in the selected locations. All three locations are rural areas and have a considerable number of socially and medically underserved. One of the relationships existing between the SDOH and these people was on the economic front. These populations had considerably lower income and finances than the rest of the population, which led to poorer health outcomes. They find it difficult to access healthy food and afford the necessary healthcare services (De Lew & Sommers, 2022). In addition, the selected population also had lower education levels, which negatively impacted their understanding of the need to seek health services timeously.


Vulnerable and underserved populations need appropriate care to enable them to overcome various barriers to care access and improve their care outcomes and life quality. These communities are more likely to be found in rural areas. Therefore, three rural communities have been discussed in this assignment including Chestertown, Oakland, and Leonardtown. They had various surprising aspects of social determinants of health which have been explored and explained.


Bantham, A., Ross, S. E. T., Sebastião, E., & Hall, G. (2021). Overcoming barriers to physical activity in underserved populations. Progress In Cardiovascular Diseases64, 64-71.

Cyr, M. E., Etchin, A. G., Guthrie, B. J., & Benneyan, J. C. (2019). Access to specialty healthcare in urban versus rural US populations: a systematic literature review. BMC Health Services Research19(1), 1–17. Doi: 10.1186/s12913-019-4815-5

De Lew, N., & Sommers, B. D. (2022, March). Addressing social determinants of health in federal programs. In JAMA Health Forum (Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. e221064-e221064). American Medical Association.

UMSRH. (2019). Community Health Improvement report


Discussion Questions (DQ)

Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.

Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.

One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.

I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.

Weekly Participation

Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.

In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.

Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).

Also Read: HCA 320 Healthcare Policy and Economics Module 5 Discussion

Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.

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APA Format and Writing Quality

Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).

Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.

I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.

Use of Direct Quotes

I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.

As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.

It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.

LopesWrite Policy

For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.

Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.

Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?

Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.

Late Policy

The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.

Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.

If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.

I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.

As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.


Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:

Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.

Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours.