The health care industry has encountered changes over the past resent years mainly due to enactment of new legislations; changes in patients needs; and changes in health related illnesses. In March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the health reform legislation (Stolberg, 2010). The legislation and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 include a number of clauses aimed at redesigning the organization, sponsorship, and provision of health care in the U.S (United States). In line with this, several programs, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) Medical Homes, have been introduced (Stolberg, 2010).Majority of those programs have a direct impact on the scope of nursing practices thus their growth is expected to have an impact on the nursing profession. In addition, implementation of these health system reforms necessitates development of superior health information technology (HIT) platforms that will promote exchange of information across communities and potentially change the scope of nursing practices in vast ways. Below are some of the projected transformations in the health systems the over the next few years and their impact on the nursing practice:
Advanced Care Management Models
Care management encompasses a number of evolving strategies used to improve the care given to chronically ill patients whose care requires long-term management. Among those strategies is Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). ACOs are groups of physicians, hospitals,and other health workers who voluntarily come together with a common goal of offering high quality care to their patients (Sochalski& Weiner, 2010).ACOs have improved cost control through financial reorganization and through provision of a system through which institutions can be held financially accountable for the funds they receive for the purposes of healthcare provision. They also conduct regular performance measurement to provide insight on quality and cost progress to ensure that cost control does not reduce the quality of care delivered (Fisher et.al.,2009). The growth of ACOs will help improve the quality of care offered to patients and ensure that funds are managed soundly.
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