Please respond with a paragraph to the following question, add citations and references:
Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health care was very disease-oriented and illness focused. With the implementation of the ACA in 2010, health care reform began. This shift includes a strong focus on disease prevention and public health. The initiation of this shift began through the workforce as it was noted that workforce health was declining. Chronic diseases cost trillions of dollars annually for workplaces and insurance companies. The idea that primary prevention as opposed to secondary and tertiary prevention would benefit not only the workplaces, but the workers as well. As the ACA came into focus, wellness programs were initiated through the workforce with incentives for health (Anderko et al., 2012).
Modifiable health risks are identified and addressed through health promotion and disease prevention programs. The importance of this is essential in preventing chronic diseases and lifelong complications while promoting cost savings, health outcomes, and quality of life (Anderko et al., 2012). The ACA has done an excellent job in implementing programs designed to promote worker wellness and disease prevention. However, the role of health care workers must be utilized appropriately in order to continue with reform.
Health care once was focused on secondary and tertiary prevention. In secondary prevention, diseases have often started, and the goal of health care workers is to prevent further complications or worsening illness/disease through regular checkups and screenings. Risks are identified and early detection methods are utilized to prevent long-term complications. Tertiary prevention occurs as the illness has set in and health care workers wish to treat existing conditions. However, these methods do not necessarily promote disease prevention. Primary prevention is imperative in health care reform to promote a system of wellness and health. Through primary prevention, nurses are involved in the community through wellness screenings, immunization and vaccination clinics, and education to promote public health and safety (Benedictine University, n.d.). As nurses become involved within the community and educate the public, health care reform can start at the local level through primary preventative methods. Nurses can also help shape health care reform by promoting wellness themselves and leading by example – such as eating healthy, exercising, and involving themselves in community events designed to promote health (such as 5K’s or other heart healthy events). In addition to this, nurses can actively participate in health care reform through secondary and tertiary prevention by educating patients to things they can do to better their health to prevent their diseases from worsening. Leading patients to appropriate support groups or providing them with necessary tools and information to better care for themselves can be beneficial in promoting a life of health and wellness.
Anderko, L., Roffenbender, J., Goetzel, R., Millard, F., Wildenhaus, K., DeSantis, C., & Novelli, W., (2012). Promoting prevention through the Affordable Care Act: Workplace wellness. Preventing Chronic Disease, 9. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2012/12_0092.htm
Benedictine University. (n.d.). The role of the nurse in preventative health care. Retrieved from https://online.ben.edu/programs/msn/resources/role-of-nurse-preventative-health-care