National Health Insurance and Advanced Practice
A national health insurance plan is often discussed. With the recent Affordable Care Act (ACA), colloquially known as “Obamacare,” national health insurance appears to be developing. It is important to recognize that this development would have a significant impact on how advanced practice develops in this country. Since national health insurance programs tend to emphasize cost containment, advanced nurse practitioners may actually see a growth in their field. It is well established that advanced nurse practitioners can perform many of the same professional duties as a physician; however, the cost for a nurse practitioner is much lower than the cost of a physician. National Health Insurance and Advanced Practice Essay
With the ACA, there has already been concern that the influx of patients into the health care system will create a shortage in health care providers. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants have already been considered a possible solution to this difficulty. A physician requires a longer period of education; furthermore, the education of a physician is often cost-prohibitive. However, nurse practitioners provide a solution to this problem. An advanced nurse practitioner can provide a quality of care at a fraction of the cost. Since the cost to train a nurse practitioner is not as exorbitant as that of a physician, the reimbursement schedule is also significantly less. Furthermore, seventy-five percent of those who graduate from medical school plan on specializing, rather than entering the primary care field. By the year 2015, the American Medical Association estimates that there will be a shortage of 62,100 physicians. National Health Insurance and Advanced Practice Essay
The majority of these will be in primary care. However, with nurse practitioners, fifty-two percent of them work in primary care (Inglehart, 2013, pp. 1935-36). This shortage is the driving force in health care, along with the cost of primary care. It is apparent that nurse practitioners will fill the gap in primary care. This may result in increased duties and an increased scope of practice for nurse practitioners. Additionally, they will be called upon as a primary source of health care in the nation. The need for cost containment and quality primary care will lead to an increased in nurse practitioners.
- Iglehart, J. K. (2013). Expanding the role of advanced nurse practitioners—risks and rewards. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(20), 1935-1941. National Health Insurance and Advanced Practice Essay