FINAL PAPER DUE Week 10 (today). Topic: Select Health Policy Analysis Paper on a local, state, or federal policy that you have explored along with recommendations based upon the analysis. • Analyze and evaluate the Health Policy • Identify application of health policy into clinical practice. ➢ Your paper must have an Introduction and a Conclusion ➢ Maximum of 6 pages (not including Title and Reference page). ➢ APA format ➢ At least 5 references within 5 years.

Title: Analysis of the Affordable Care Act and its Application in Clinical Practice

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law in 2010, has had a significant impact on the healthcare system in the United States. This health policy aimed to increase access to healthcare, improve the quality of care delivered, and reduce healthcare costs. In this paper, we will analyze and evaluate the ACA and discuss its application into clinical practice. Additionally, we will provide recommendations based on the analysis.

Analysis of the Affordable Care Act:
The ACA introduced several key provisions that reshaped the healthcare landscape. These provisions include the individual mandate, expansion of Medicaid, establishment of health insurance exchanges, prohibition of pre-existing condition exclusions, and the essential health benefits requirement. Through these measures, the ACA aimed to provide affordable and comprehensive health insurance coverage to a larger portion of the population.

One of the most debated aspects of the ACA was the individual mandate, which required individuals to have health insurance coverage or face a penalty. Proponents argued that this provision was crucial for achieving universal coverage and preventing adverse selection in insurance markets. However, critics contended that it infringed upon individual liberty and imposed financial burdens on those who chose not to purchase insurance.

The expansion of Medicaid under the ACA aimed to cover low-income individuals and families who previously did not qualify for Medicaid. This expansion significantly increased the number of individuals eligible for Medicaid and improved access to healthcare services for vulnerable populations. However, the decision on Medicaid expansion was left to the states, leading to variations in coverage across the country.

The establishment of health insurance exchanges created a marketplace for individuals to compare and purchase insurance plans. It aimed to promote competition among insurers and increase transparency in pricing. While the exchanges increased access to coverage for those unable to obtain insurance through their employers, they faced challenges in ensuring affordability and choice. Additionally, the rollout of the federal exchange website faced significant technical difficulties during its initial implementation, leading to criticism and delays in enrollment.

The ACA also included provisions that prohibited insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions. This policy aimed to ensure that individuals with pre-existing conditions had access to affordable coverage. However, these provisions also posed challenges for insurers in managing risk and stabilizing premiums, leading to concerns about adverse selection and potential market disruptions.

The requirement for insurers to offer essential health benefits aimed to ensure that individuals had coverage for a comprehensive range of services. These benefits encompassed preventive care, prescription drugs, maternity care, mental health services, and more. While this requirement improved access to necessary healthcare services, it also raised concerns about the affordability of insurance premiums and the financial sustainability of insurers.

Application of the Affordable Care Act into Clinical Practice:
The ACA’s impact on clinical practice has been multifaceted. One of its primary objectives was to shift the healthcare system towards a focus on preventive care and the coordination of patient care across various providers. To achieve this, the ACA promoted value-based care models, such as accountable care organizations and bundled payment arrangements. These initiatives incentivized healthcare providers to deliver high-quality, cost-effective care and emphasized preventive services as a means of reducing long-term healthcare costs.

The ACA also encouraged the use of electronic health records (EHRs) through the Meaningful Use program. EHRs enhance care coordination among providers, facilitate communication, and improve patient outcomes through better data management and decision support tools. However, the implementation and adoption of EHRs have faced challenges, including interoperability issues and potential privacy concerns.

The Affordable Care Act has brought significant changes to the U.S. healthcare system. Its provisions aimed to increase access to healthcare, improve the quality of care delivered, and reduce costs. Despite its achievements, the ACA has faced challenges and controversies that warrant further evaluation and potential policy adjustments. To ensure the effective integration of the ACA into clinical practice, healthcare providers and policymakers must continue to collaborate, evaluate outcomes, and implement evidence-based practices. Additionally, ongoing monitoring and assessment are necessary to promote continuous improvement in the delivery of healthcare services under this policy.

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