Affordable Care Act
Every year, Americans suffer from chronic diseases. Apart from consequences such as premature deaths, chronic illnesses affect the economy of the U.S. negatively because they cause absenteeism from work. In the year 2010, the former president, Barrack Obama, signed a law (Affordable Care Act) that brought about reforms in the health care sector in America (KFF, 2013). The Affordable Care Act helped in strengthening primary care delivery in the nation through reimbursement rates since it utilizes innovative models of delivery. Additionally, it provided an opportunity for Americans to acquire affordable health care that helped in preventing deaths and some illnesses thus improving their lives. The Prevention and Public Health Fund is a provision under the Affordable Care Act that has helped in the prevention of several chronic diseases.
Affordable Care Act
Preventing diseases is paramount to improving the health of Americans while keeping the economy of the nation in check. The Prevention and Public Health Fund provision was initiated as a way of raising funds to help in the prevention of various chronic diseases. According to CDC, chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are the main contributors of 7 out of 10 deaths in the nation annually (CDC, 2013). Therefore, there is a need to invest and spend more on the prevention of chronic diseases. When sufficient funds are available, they facilitate a timely detection of these chronic diseases through screening thus initiating treatment at the right time. Timely treatment has been found to minimize the number of deaths resulting from the diseases. Undoubtedly, the Prevention and Public Health Fund provision offers preventive care that is more accessible and affordable to Americans through which positively affects not only health, but also the economy.
The Bottom Line of Prevention and Public Health Fund on Consumers
The main reason for coming up with Preventive and Public Health Fund was to ensure that everyone can access a private health care plan with low-cost sharing or no cost. The government ensures that this is possible by providing the right funds needed to help in the prevention of different chronic diseases. Disease prevention is important because it helps people to live longer and cuts the costs of health care. Additionally, one of the reasons why individuals self-medicate is the high cost of accessing treatment in health centers. Self-medication is dangerous because symptoms of different diseases mimic each other; hence it is easy to misdiagnose one and allow a disease to advance. Making healthcare affordable, therefore, reduces the need to self-medicate and minimizes chances of misdiagnoses (CDC, 2013). Women are among the groups of people who have benefitted from this healthcare plan because it allows for cost-sharing at a lower rate for specific preventive services such as cholesterol screening and mammograms.
Ways in Which PPHF Makes Healthcare Accessible and Affordable
Through PPHF funding, it is easy for various public and private health care institutions that had been strained by shortage of nurses or equipments to become accessible. They can use the money allocated to them to employ more nurses and purchase the necessary equipment such as beds, which would increase the hospitals’ capacity. Consequently, this makes it easy for the health care institutions to treat their patients effectively minimizing the number of unhealthy or sickly population in the nation (Kampen et al., 2014). Moreover, the funding offered under PPHF has helped in the formation of public health programs that are aimed at reducing the major causes of disability or deaths in the U.S. The programs mainly support the early detection of life-threatening diseases and facilitate evidence-based strategies that can be used to treat or prevent them. When lives are saved through early detection, it means that the larger population will be healthy thereby affecting the economy of the nation positively (Kampen et al., 2014). At the same time, when the larger population is healthy, health care will become affordable because the demand for treatment shall have reduced.
Role of Registered Nurses
The nurses play an important role in ensuring that healthcare is not only accessible but also affordable to the entire public. When it comes to disease prevention, registered nurses can help the people to live longer, happier, and healthier by taking them through counseling. Some of the issues in which they can counsel the citizens or patients are regarding living a healthy lifestyle by avoiding smoking, eating better, minimizing their levels of alcohol intake, and avoiding depression. When specific illnesses such as heart attacks and cancer are prevented by living a healthy lifestyle, which is advocated by the registered nurses, the costs of spending on healthcare is minimized. The nurses are also involved in conducting the screening and prenatal care for pregnant women that helps in detecting any form of abnormalities or sicknesses such as high blood pressure. It is important to note that when there are fewer patients visiting health facilities, access of health care becomes easy because the nurses are not strained. As a result, they offer the best services possible.
In conclusion, the Prevention and Public Health Fund provision is an Affordable Care Act section that was established with the main intention of providing funds for treatment of patients. Through various funding sources which are used to fund health care institutions, the level of health care services offered becomes better. At the same time, the funding provides room for prevention techniques for various diseases to improve the lives of the people in the nation. PPHF as Affordable Care Act provision is crucial to sustain and improve health outcomes while ensuring that health care quality is enhanced.
CDC. (2013, June 12). Preventive health care. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/preventivehealth.html
Kampen, I., Engelfriet, P., & Baal, P. (2014). Disease prevention: Saving lives or reducing health care costs? PLos ONE 9(8), e104469. Retrieved from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0104469
KFF.org. (2013, Apr 25). Summary of the Affordable Care Act. Retrieved from http://www.kff.org/health-reform/fact-sheet/summary-of-the-affordable-care-act/