Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Impact on the Future Healthcare Workforce

July 1, 2012
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With the landmark ruling upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it is not surprising to see the wide variety of reaction.  As noted in this local piece, healthcare systems see it as a step in a direction that they were already taking and nurse leaders are happy with the ruling since it elevates the profile of RNs in the new mode

With the landmark ruling upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it is not surprising to see the wide variety of reaction.  As noted in this local piece, healthcare systems see it as a step in a direction that they were already taking and nurse leaders are happy with the ruling since it elevates the profile of RNs in the new models of care that are evolving.  The one comment that caught my eye was the physician who wonders how the influx of new patients will be incorporated into an already overburdened health system.

In response to the physician – who is likely already overwhelmed with meaningful use, ICD-10/11 requirements and general management of a small business – there are a number of provisions that impact primary care, being the first stop in the food chain.  Specifically, the provisions address:

  • Free preventative care
  • Funds to community health centers
  • Community care transitions programs
  • Value-based purchasing
  • New models of primary care delivery – ACO, PCMH

While it is important to note these initiatives, the better question is what type of workforce provisions exist to execute them in these five states that are projected to have the highest healthcare job growth rate?  Through several additional actions, the law recognizes the importance of primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other healthcare personnel via the following:

  • Creation of new primary care residency slots
  • Expansion of the National Health Service Corp
  • Tax benefits for working in rural areas
  • PA training in primary care
  • NP training
  • Nurse Practitioner led clinics
  • Funding for nursing, healthcare IT and other health profession training

Having just enough time to provide a brief snapshot, it is well worth your time to listen to Joanne Spetz, labor economist and professor at the UCSF Center for the Health Professions, discuss the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) impact on the future healthcare workforce in the video below.


 

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