Ethical and Policy Factors in Care Coordination

Ethical and Policy Factors in Care Coordination

In nursing practice, ethics define the interaction of nurses and the patients that they offer care. Despite describing the interactions of nurses and their patients, ethics play a huge role in ensuring the coordination and continuum of care in any healthcare organization. In the contemporary healthcare organization, governmental policies and other state provisions significantly influence care coordination for individual patients and the given communities. Nurses are defined and regulated by ethical standards and policies in their practice, regardless of the setting that they operate. A breach of ethical standards might have a significant impact on the coordination of care. This presentation shall analyze the different ways in which governmental policies that are related to health care influence and affects the coordination of care. Additionally, the presentation shall examine the impact that ethics have on continuum and coordination of care for nurses.

Influence of Governmental Policies on the Coordination of Care

Various federal policies greatly influence the healthcare system in the United States. Significantly, in the United States, various governmental health care programs have a considerable impact on the general coordination of care. The different federal policies and programs that significantly affect care coordination include Medicare and Medicaid. Also, programs like State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP) and the Veterans Health Administrations (VHA) significantly influence the coordination of care in the American Healthcare Organizations. The United State’s federal and local government through its numerous policies is directly responsible for ensuring that the finances that it allocates annually to healthcare organizations through the different healthcare programs are wisely spent (Bower, 2016).
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The government sees to it that implemented healthcare programs, and policies get used effectively to decrease the burden of ailments, reduce the burden of disabilities, amongst other things, the burden of injuries.

The most notable government policy that influences the coordination of care is Medicare. In the United States, Medicare provides health insurance services to an estimated 40 million individuals with the number expected to grow (Zolotorofe et al., 2018). This governmental program has a positive impact on the coordination of care, given that it functions to improve access to care of the covered population. Reports and statistics indicate that the majority of the Medicare population is burdened by chronic illnesses that considerably reduce their functionality. In relation to improving the coordination of care, Medicare has substantially reduced the associated cost of healthcare by doing away with unnecessary procedures and tests in healthcare. On the other end of the policy spectrum is Medicaid. In the United States, Medicaid services more than 42 million citizens. The more than 42 million citizens that are served by the Medicaid programs are mostly those from poor backgrounds and that require healthcare services to remain healthy and meet their healthcare needs.

This individual government policy is financed and administered jointly by the state and the federal government. The program majorly depends on private providers of healthcare, community health centres and various managed care plans to facilitate the coordination of care effectively. The government, through this policy, ensures that the care that various providers provide is not by any chance delivered in silos. As such, challenges that negatively impact the coordination of care, such as the cost of healthcare, are greatly minimized. Apart from healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, the United States government implements other varied policies that regulate how healthcare providers, clinicians and patients relate towards the coordination of care and the improvement of quality patient outcomes. As such, the United States federal government plays a huge role in facilitating care coordination to provide the best quality care to patients.

Government Policy Provisions that Raise Ethical Questions for Care Coordination

In the United States, a majority of healthcare providers and care coordinators find the Act of balancing cost and access to quality healthcare as an unethical dilemma that they continually need to engage. Healthcare reforms in the United States have, with no doubt brought about a myriad of significant ethical issues to the forefront. The patient protection and Affordable Care Act is one of the policies by the United States federal government that has, without a doubt, raised ethical questions amongst care coordination (Lamb et al., 2015). This individual Act includes several reforms that the government aims to positively impact the quality of care of the average American citizen. Despite the myriad of advantages that this particular Act has, there exist several societal injustices affiliated to the Act that negatively impacts the proper coordination of care. The provisions under this Act are set to limit individuals that shall get covered with a majority of immigrants being left out. Also, the Care Act is expected to substantially increase the national debt, which means that the overall health budget shall be affected, thus negatively impacting the coordination of care in health facilities.

Impact of Code of Ethics for Nurses on the Coordination of Care

In the field of nursing, the set code of ethics acts as a guide to clinicians and nurses (Connor et al., 2018). This guide functions as standards of morals for nurses that are non-negotiable. As a result of the various codes of ethics in nursing, ethical conflicts are prevalent in this particular field. In the field of nursing, standards of ethics are high on the priority list of what nurses ought to consider. The policy provisions found within the set code of ethics for nurses can have both a positive and negative implication to the provision of care and care coordination. First and foremost, the code of ethics that regulate nurses significantly enables them to accord patients the best can possible. Code of ethics allows nurses to interact and communicate well with fellow interdisciplinary team members, a factor that facilitates the provision of quality care coordination.

Nursing code of ethics dictates that nurses ought to place patients at the core of the quality of care. As such, given that nurses are required to adhere to such policies to the latter, the coordination of care in health facilities end up increasing substantially. On the other hand, the different provisions that are found in the nursing code of ethics may limit the ability of nurses to offer their best services to patients. Code of ethics might serve to significantly decrease the associated quality of care coordination in healthcare organizations by limiting the creativity of nurses towards the provision of better care.

Ethical Policies Affecting the Coordination of Care in Homeless Shelters

The government of the United States has not put in place adequate policies that get meant to improve the coordination of care amongst community organizations such as homeless shelters. Such policies and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid only function to serve the taxpaying segment of the American population. Homeless persons that have little to contribute to the economy of the U.S have little to benefit from the coordination of care in the county. Ethics dictates that nurses and other clinicians should offer the best coordination of care to paying clients or clients that have health insurance policies. Guided by these individual codes of ethics, nurses and other interdisciplinary teams find it challenging to offer the best care possible to individuals in homeless shelters.

Conclusion

There exists a myriad of governmental policies that affect the coordination of care to both individuals and other community programs such as homeless shelters. National policy programs such as Medicaid and Medicare significantly influences care coordination in healthcare organizations. The code of ethics that governs the interaction of nurses and patients also substantially impacts the coordination and continuum of care. Both factors have seen the coordination of care in community organizations such as homeless shelters significantly deteriorate.

Reference

Bower, K. A. (2016). Nursing leadership and care coordination: Creating excellence in coordinating care across the continuum. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 40(2), 98–102.

Connor, J. A., Antonelli, R. C., Connell, C. A., Bishop Kuzdeba, H., Porter, C., & Hickey, P. A. (2018). Measuring care coordination in the pediatric cardiology ambulatory setting. Journal of Nursing Administration, 48(2), 107–113.

Lamb, G., Newhouse, R., Beverly, C., Toney, D. A., Cropley, S., Weaver, C. A., Task Force Members (2015). Policy agenda for nurse-led care coordination. Nursing Outlook, 63(4), 521–530.

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