Critique the Role of Nursing Advocacy
This competency assessment assesses the following Outcome(s):
MN506M5-5: Critique the role of nursing advocacy in the implementation of health policy.
Health policy briefs provide succinct overviews of health policy topics. The intended audience is policymakers, journalists, and others concerned about improving health care in the United States. The briefs explore arguments from varying perspectives of a policy proposal. They guide available research behind each perspective. Experts create health policy briefs in the field through funding from public and private grants.
Select one policy brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (n.d.). Health policy in brief. https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/collections/health-affairs-briefs.html
- Identify the primary issue discussed in the brief, summarize the brief, and state the relationship of the issue to APN practice.
- List at least three strengths, weaknesses, advantages, and/or disadvantages of the issue.
- Describe at least three solutions or recommendations for the issue.
- In your role as an APN, list at least three ways you would advocate for or against the policy implementation?
In your paper, you may take the position either for or against the policy proposal, or both.
The Role of Nursing Advocacy in the Implementation of Health Policy
Policy Brief: What Will Happen to Medicaid Enrollees’ Health Coverage After the Public Health Emergency?
Primary Issue, Summary of the Policy Brief and the Relationship to APN Practice
Health policies are crucial in implementing a health culture in the United States. All Americans yearn for policies that advocate for affordable, quality, and all-inclusive healthcare. Any issue affecting Americans’ health is addressed to the relevant policymakers and media houses through policy briefs for enactment. What Will Happen to Medicaid Enrollees’ Health Coverage After the Public Health Emergency? is among the policy briefs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that addresses the repercussions caused by the expiry of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) enacted during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The primary issue of the brief is the worrying millions of Americans yet to lose their health coverage after enrolling for Medicaid and Medicare services at the start of Covid-19. The PHE instituted by the Department of Health and Human Services was a temporary coronavirus emergency response effort.
As part of the Covid-19 mitigation strategies, the federal government facilitated mass enrollment for Medicaid coverage. Millions of Americans enrolled in the services to promote their health access and for their dependents. Medicaid is a vital health insurance policy that provides coverage targeting low-income earners and the vulnerable in society, including children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people living with disabilities (Buettgens and Green, 2022). According to Wagner (2020), the expiry of the PHE supposing by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2022 will render 12.9 million with no health insurance coverage and more millions of people in the succeeding quarters. The high number of people losing their health insurance is a risky venture and a health issue that should be addressed urgently. It could be expensive to shift to other insurance coverage especially given that Medicaid beneficiaries are people from impoverished backgrounds (Erzouki, 2022). The impacts of congress’s inability to prolong the PHE’s term will hit the low-income earners hard, and a Rescue Plan Act can be viable in preventing the effects that citizens will suffer. The government should extend the health stability enjoyed by the Americans during the pandemic period to avoid the loss of enrollment for both the principal member and their dependents.
The issue highlighted in the Medicaid policy brief has close ties with the APN practice since it impacts healthcare access and quality. The policy is critical in the healthcare system as it facilitates access to healthcare for children, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with difficulties (Buettgens and Green, 2022). The loss of cover by people living in impoverished conditions will deteriorate their health with their family members. The service of the APNs in providing primary care and support to patients will be impaired due to the patients’ financial constraints to afford the hospital treatment and care charges. Some patients will be forced to discontinue their clinics due to the withdrawn cover affecting the implementation of best practices for the patient’s well-being as a nursing goal.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Issue
The issue is crucial in addressing the plea of the voiceless who will suffer the consequences of loss of health insurance cover. Medicaid enrollment facilitated access to quality and affordable healthcare by all vulnerable groups in the USA, especially in the Covid-19 period when these low-income earners were more susceptible to ill-health issues (Erzouki, 2022). Covid-19 triggered many health burdens, especially on the poor; the enrollment ensured that all their medical needs were addressed, including those linked to the pandemic.
The Medicaid funding stipulated for the Covid-19 Response Act has continuously prevented the disenrollment of millions of people for failure to fund their health insurance covers, allowing all to enjoy wellness amidst the pandemic. Acquisition of Medicaid cover is usually a hectic process that requires submitting all supporting evidence and relevant data to prove eligibility (Erzouki, 2022). These hitches were solved by the PHE that enhanced smooth access to all.
The policy has served as a boost to the state government’s budget from the federal government. The cost of Medicaid policy has been rising, with new enrollments burdening the health budget of the states. The introduction of PHE strengthened states’ service provision without any financial constraint,
The policy that enhanced Medicaid enrollment for millions of people could raise a health crisis upon the termination of the PHE. The approximate enrollees were 78 million people by the end of 2021, and withdrawing support from all these people can create health instabilities and disruptions in the country. The cover, however, is daunting to the state’s funding, given the mass enrolment to the aid, and a suitable considerate recommendation is worthwhile.
Also, Eligible enrolled people will lose their Medicaid cover upon the expiry of the PHE term. The approximate number that will forfeit their coverage at the end of the last quarter of the year is 15.8 million people (Buettgens and Green, 2022). The end of the emergency period requires certifications to continue receiving the health incentive. There are vulnerable groups will inadequate evidence to prove their eligibility, and their health will be impacted negatively.
Wagner (2020) implies that these vulnerable insured groups’ quality and access to healthcare will be hampered since most of them cannot afford other insurance covers. The longer the protection period has lasted, the more the beneficiaries suffer the impacts of the loss, as the prolonged flexed enrollments triggered routine. A jeopardized health system caused by patients’ withdrawal causes mortalities and poor health outcomes.
Solutions for the Issue
The problem of mass Medicaid disenrollment after the expiry of the PHE term, the first quarter being in mid-April 2022, can be solved by extending the emergency Act period. The enrolled individuals are already used to the provided covers and have changed their health programs and plans for other insurance (Erzouki, 2022). Erzouki (2022) highlights that more grace periods with advance notice on when their eligibility will be withdrawn can help the beneficiaries plan for other affordable health covers before the extended PHE period expires.
Policymakers in the state and the federal government should plan for suitable mitigation to salvage low-income earners from the consequences of withdrawing enrollment. Awareness creation on alternative insurance that these groups can afford should be made and be sensitized to enroll to avoid the associated health problems upon the loss (Wagner, 2020). Such subsidized plans on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and reduced enrollment costs for other covers can be perfect substitutes for the Medicaid cover upon termination.
A collective responsibility by the Managed Care Organizations (MCO) and the state officials to facilitate a smooth transition of ending the emergency Medicaid cover without subjecting the beneficiaries to risks of cover loss is essential. The MCOs and responsible stakeholders should make careful plans that remove any constraint on the members’ access to other health insurance (Erzouki, 2022). The resumption of the regular Medicaid eligibility should take time to ensure that the beneficiaries who are not eligible for the continuation can safely secure other covers before their funding is terminated.