Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation Analysis

Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation Analysis

 Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation Analysis Template

Use this document to complete the Module 5 Assessment Assessing a Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation.

Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation   The impact of the ACA on access to healthcare services by adults living with diabetes
Description ACA is the most transformational nationwide healthcare policy in America’s recent history. Commissioned by Pres. Obama in 2010, the program has been the driver of healthcare transformation in the country. The CDC looks at how the program has benefited adults with diabetes in terms of accessing healthcare services.
How was the success of the program or policy measured?     The evaluation looked at the impact of the program on the healthcare outcomes for people living with diabetes. It compared the outcomes for insured with uninsured persons. Some of the aspects of the evaluation included access to care and the expenditure on health services. The success of the program was measured against the outcomes for insured persons by looking at access between the groups, the uptake of healthcare services, and healthcare expenses.
How many people were reached by the program or policy selected? How much of an impact was realized with the program or policy selected?     At least 29 million Americans were living with diabetes in 2012. When ACA came into force, it was supposed to provide access and cover to Americans who had remained uninsured for long. Within four years of implementation, ACA had reduced the number of uninsured persons by at least 9 million. A breakdown specific for adults living with diabetes is not available, but data shows that millions of Americans became a part of the nationwide program. In the years after the implementation of the program, about 2 million adults living with diabetes did not have healthcare insurance. During the first two years, ACA did not have significant healthcare improvements for people with diabetes.
What data was used to conduct the program or policy evaluation?     The evaluation utilized data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) for 2011 and 2012. MEPS  keeps a record of different kinds of healthcare data, including the amount of money people pay out of pocket for health services, the number of uninsured at any given time, the quality of service, and the healthcare outcomes. The evaluators examined the demographics of adults living with diabetes aged 19 to 64 years. They also considered other health-related information like access to care, expenditures, and the uptake of healthcare services.  
What was the specific information on unintended consequences identified?   The evaluation noted that while ACA had the potential to improve healthcare outcomes in the long-term, it would increase the country’s expenditure on healthcare in the short-term. Also, the program will result in increased cost of care for people with diabetes in the short-term, which is one of the unintended outcomes.
What stakeholders were identified in the evaluation of the program or policy? Who would benefit the most from the results and reporting of the program or policy evaluation? Be specific and provide examples.     National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) was a significant stakeholder in the evaluation. The results of the assessment would benefit the federal government in understanding the impact of the program so far. Results of the evaluation would also benefit health policymakers. They will be able to know the role of ACA in improving healthcare outcomes for special populations. Adults living with diabetes will also benefit from the evaluation because it points out key areas of success that could benefit them. For instance, they will know from the results the position of ACA in addressing the challenges they face while accessing care.
Did the program or policy meet the original intent and objectives? Why or why not?     It is still too early to know the impact of ACA. Based on the evaluation, however, the policy did not have significant implications during the first two years. It did reduce the number of uninsured persons in the country, which is one of its primary goals. Future evaluations will tell whether the policy has positive impacts and whether or not it meets its purpose.  
Would you recommend implementing this program or policy in your place of work? Why or why not?     ACA has many benefits despite its weaknesses. I think it is a good policy for the country, mainly because it reduces the number of people who do not have healthcare insurance. The ability to pay for healthcare services is a massive impediment to healthcare access, and I think I would support the implementation of this policy because it improves the ability to pay for millions of people.
Identify at least two ways that you, as a nurse advocate, could become involved in evaluating a program or policy after one year of implementation.     One of the ways through which I could help in the evaluation of ACA is by advocating for resources to aid in the assessment of the policy one year into its implementation. I could also promote record-keeping by hospitals to make sure there is adequate data to support the evaluation after one year.  
General Notes/Comments   ACA is a transformational policy. It may increase the cost of healthcare for the country in the short-term, but it will reduce healthcare expenditure for people. In the long-term, it will reduce the cost of care for the country. Regular evaluations are, however, necessary to determine its impacts and suggest improvements.  
Assignment: Global Healthcare Comparison Matrix and Narrative Statement

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