Professional associations like the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, and others actively facilitate member engagement in political advocacy. For this assignment, you will research political advocacy models of professional associations, and develop a program outline to be proposed to a professional association or group of your choosing.
Objective: Political advocacy program proposal
Primary – Members of a professional association or group (local/state/institutional).
Secondary – Leadership team of the association or group. Those who will approve your proposal.
Elements to include (but not limited to):
- Proposal abstract
- Need assessment (why this is needed in your profession/location)
- Supporting research
- Goals and Objectives
- Governance structure (leadership roles)
- Membership (member base, recruitment)
- Proposal summary
Length: A minimum of three pages of content.
APA requirements: Title, reference page, a minimum of three references. In-text citations should be used to support your proposal.
Health Exchange Academy. (2006). Advocating for change. (Links to an external site.) https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/AFC_Manual_01.pdf
Telehealth is one of the major improvements in the healthcare system. The nurses largely contribute to telehealth since they are mandated to make follow-ups and monitor the patients’ health conditions in collaboration with the physicians. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, most states and the federal government called for deregulation of the telehealth policies in allowing access to quality and timely healthcare. The deregulation increases accessibility to care from home, reducing the cost of care for the patients and improving the quality of health. There was an expansion of the coverage on telehealth and reimbursement of the healthcare providers. This positive change, courtesy of the pandemic, is threatened to be reverted to the normal regulations limiting telehealth practice scope. A national professional body such as the American Nurses Association can play a great role through political advocacy in supporting enacting policies meant to increase the scope and accessibility of telehealth in the country. The association can focus on equalizing the remuneration for telehealth with the in-person health services delivery in encouraging telehealth professionalism.
The main aim of the proposed policy is to increase access to healthcare for vulnerable populations and the general American population by increasing the number of healthcare providers providing the service. This is guided by the hypothesis that raising the remuneration to be equal to the in-person remunerations will encourage more N.P.s into telehealth delivery. The United States population is growing very fast, and the increasing demand for healthcare services is swiftly overpowering the number of healthcare providers. According to MacArthur (2020), California anticipates an increased demand of 500,000 nurses in 2024 due to the increasing population and demand for healthcare services in the state. This shows that millions of nurses are needed before 2030 to cover the increasing demand and maintain the needed ratio of nurses to patients of 1:2. The increased telehealth nurses will thus cover demand since they can handle many patients through the technological platforms.
The elderly population is prone to numerous health diseases and thus requires regular contact with healthcare providers. Considering that most of the “baby boomers” are aging, the demand for quality care in improving the health of the vulnerable is essential. According to Statista (2021), the boomers form the second largest group of Americans, with a population of 70.68 million. The population is prone to health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure, osteoporosis, among others. These conditions require regular communication with the healthcare providers, and moving in and out of hospitals may be congestive, costly, and cumbersome to the population. There is a need to engage the nurse practitioners in telehealth to increase the provision of healthcare services for the elderly population from their homes.
Numerous research studies support telehealth in improving the quality of health and general access to healthcare services. Lee et al. (2018) conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled studies to establish the effectiveness of telehealth services on glycemic control for diabetic patients. The results supported the hypothesis that increased telehealth services contribute to significant improvement in diabetic levels among the patients. According to the study results, telephone and internet glucose monitoring had a higher performance in improving the patients’ quality of health compared to normal care. Cohen et al. (2019) conducted a similar study to establish the effectiveness of telehealthcare on medication adherence among patients. Through a pharmacist-led intervention on telehealth, the study established a significant improvement in cardiovascular medication adherence (0.4 to 27.6), antidepressant medication adherence (0.9 to 51.2), and general medication adherence of 6.6 to 21.2. This indicates that telehealth contributes to improved adherence to medication associated with reduced recovery time, health risks, costs, and readmissions.
Srivastava et al. (2018) conducted a study on the impact of telehealthcare on the quality of health for patients with heart failure. The retrospective analysis was done on 197 heart failure patients, and the outcome was compared to another control group of patients. According to the study results, there was improved quality of health with reduced admission rates and length of stay for the intervention group under the telehealth program compared to the control group. Lew (2020) supports the role of telehealth in improving the quality of health of various populations through close monitoring and guided self-care practices. Telehealth services have been proven to reduce the cost of care for patients and care organizations. Palmer et al. (2021), through a study that telehealth integrated antenatal care, led to a reduction of the in-person consultations with the healthcare providers by 50%, thus minimizing the cost of care for the patients. Additionally, the reduced in-person visits also lower the levels of congestion in the healthcare centers and the building of more structures to accommodate the patients, thus reducing the cost of care.
Goals and Objectives
The main goal is to improve access and quality of healthcare through expanding the scope of telehealth in the United States. The objectives include;
- To reduce the inequality in the remuneration of healthcare between telehealth and in-person services.
- To increase the number of nurse practitioners registering for telehealth services in closing the gap in healthcare demand.
- To reduce readmissions and hospitalization within the healthcare system.
- To lower the healthcare cost for both the patients and healthcare organizations by reducing in-person consultations.
Submitting the policy proposal to the American Nurses Association involves using the various structures to increase the viability of the policy. The professional policy committee is the main body within the association responsible for receiving, reviewing, and reporting the professional policy proposals submitted for the Membership Assembly (M.A.). The committee provides hearings and forums on the policy proposals through the Assembly meetings and develops the procedures for the presentation process of the policy proposals to the M.A. for consideration. The organization is governed by a house of delegates composed of representatives from various constituency associations and boards of directors. Through the professional policy committee, the administrations receive policy proposals and advocates for their discussion and implementation. The main role of the leadership is to discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of implementing the healthcare policy.
The main role of the membership is to popularize and propel the policy in increasing understanding and creating a forceful movement behind the proposal. The primary members of the proposal are the advanced nurse practitioners within the United States. The recruitment process will be through local and state nurses associations or organizations, a message that will be popularized through the associations’ leadership. The expected membership base is at least 10,000 nurses supporting the policy for improved capacity for consideration by ANA, the national nurses association.