MSN560 University Access Cost and Quality for APNs Discussion

MSN560 University Access Cost and Quality for APNs Discussion

  • Discuss the access, cost, and quality of quality environments, as well as recent quality initiatives (See Chapter 24 and Table 24.1 Vocabulary of Quality Please see chapter attached).
  • The student is to reflect on the relationship between quality measures and evaluation and role development. In addition, describe this relationship and note how the role of the APN might change without effective quality measures.

Length: 4 pages, double-spaced, excluding title and reference pages (required)

Chapter 24 of Joel, L.A., (2018). Advanced practice nursing. Essentials for role development (4th Ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis. [ISBN-13: 978-0-8036-6044-1]

Format: APA 6th Edition


MSN560 University Access Cost and Quality for APNs Discussion Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes expected as a result of this chapter:

  • Describe the value, quality, and accountability context surrounding advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) practice.
  • Understand APRN performance expectations in general and those specific to specialty practice.
  • Develop quality and performance measures for use in practice at the individual, group, systems, and societal levels.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design a model for assessing structures, processes, and outcomes within a framework of national standards.
  • Plan actions to enhance the APRN impact in patient care, education, research, administration, and advocacy or policy.
  • Chapter 24 • Measuring Advanced Practice Nurse Performance 367

MSN560 University Access Cost and Quality for APNs Discussion Introduction

Performance measurement in the health-care system is ubiquitous and complex. Whomever the provider, whatever the geographic location, whatever the setting, whatever the organization, whomever the stakeholder, whomever the payer, advanced practice nurses (APNs) can expect to have their performance evaluated.

APNs, along with other individuals and organizations, must demonstrate that their performance enhances the triple aims of improving care experiences for patients and families, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita costs of health care (Berwick, Nolan, & Whittington, 2008).

As Whittington, Nolan, Lewis, and Torres (2015) suggest, the triple aims are an integral part of the United States’ strategies to improve health outcomes and health care. These aims provide a framework for state and federal initiatives and the work of credentialing, accrediting, and regulatory agencies at all levels influencing the organization, delivery, and financing of health-care services.

To improve care experiences, individual patients and families are encouraged to become more engaged in care and to participate in planning and assuring they receive quality, safe care. To improve outcomes for population health, providers and communities are expected to transform the organization and delivery of services.

To reduce health-care costs, care providers and payers are engaged in payment reforms and developing more cost-effective interventions. Reimbursement structures are also being modified. These aims are influenced by several trends related, in part, to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA; Public Law [PL] 111-148) and subsequent policy and administrative changes.

Trends and issues include increased access and, thus, more demand for services; drug pricing; mergers of providers, organizations, and insurers; technologies such as telehealth and mobile apps; and data security (Blumenthal, Abrams, & Nuzum, 2015; Lorenzetti, 2015). Superimposed on all these changes—and influencing them—are political and power issues.

Given the demands facing the health-care system, the voice of nurses and the leadership of APNs are essential to meet our professional and societal obligations to improve health and health care. APNs are uniquely positioned to contribute critical knowledge, skills, and attitudes, as well as their values of civic professionalism and compassion, to political and decision-making dialogues.

The purpose of the health-care system is to continuously reduce the impact and burden of illness, injury, and disability and to improve the health and functioning of the people of the United States. Although providing direct care and influencing the direct care provided by others are necessary work and contribute to meeting this goal, they are not sufficient to meet growing professional and societal quality and accountability demands.

By demonstrating their contributions; continuously improving their performance; and being accountable to the profession, employers, and the public for all components of their role, APNs can make a difference.

As the nurse moves from novice to expert, responsibility for and accountability to self and others for the structures, processes, and outcomes of health care increase proportionally. Achieving the status of APN is not a terminal event and the role assumes ongoing and increasing professional and societal obligations.

Responsibility for meeting the triple aims means that the APN must serve the profession and society as a primary agent contributing at the level of individual care, in the practice setting, and at the tables where organizational and public policies are made and implemented. In addition, the professional and societal trust afforded to the APN obliges meaningful contributions—beyond individual patient care—to meet the purpose of the health-care system.

APNs must not only do good, they must demonstrate their value to society through performance assessment and its documentation and dissemination at every level of care and decision making so their voices are heard. The importance to health outcomes, the profession, and society cannot be underestimated or ignored. The Case for Accountability Why should APNs be concerned about these issues?

A Web search of the terms health care AND accountability resulted in more than 130 million hits. This reflects the importance of this issue in our society. The search revealed that accountability for the quality and costs of health care—its value—are of interest to consumers, purchasers/payers, employers, insurers, the government, and professional provider organizations.

Although the demand for accountability for the value of health care is not new, growing complexity and changes in the health-care 368 Unit 4 • Ethical, Legal, and Business Acumen of pay-for-performance determinations. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) (1999, 2001, 2006) identified problems with the quality of care and safety concerns that continue to be reported in the literature.

Reports of consumer satisfaction or experience with the health-care system, such as those of the Commonwealth Fund (Commonwealth Fund, 2016b; Davis et al, 2002), found that patients were not satisfied with the quality of care they were receiving and reported continuing concerns on their summaries of assessment data.

Hero, Blendon, Zaslavsky, and Campbell (2016) found that concerns about access to preferred care were a major concern. Managed care, cost concerns, and the growing consumer movement in health care have increased the demand for information about the value (quality in relation to cost) of health-care services and the performance of health-care providers in delivering quality, cost-effective services across all components of the health-care system.

Led by advocacy organizations, consumers are demanding greater accountability from health-care providers and the health-care system. They want quality, cost-effective services delivered from a patient-centered perspective. Federal and state government agencies and other purchasers want to know if the services they pay for are achieving the best possible outcomes at the best price.

Organizations that accredit health-care organizations are increasingly seeking evidence that the structures and processes of care produce positive health outcomes. All these demands to demonstrate and be accountable for value- and cost-effective high-quality care require individuals and groups of providers to measure performance and share their assessments with stakeholders.

Organizations such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the National Quality Forum (NQF), The Joint Commission (TJC), and several agencies of the federal government lead efforts to measure and report on the quality of care provided by various health-care system components.

Federal and state agencies, independently and in collaboration with private sector organizations, are collecting and disseminating information about the quality of services provided by the health-care system’s various providers. Health-care “report cards” are mechanisms widely employed to address the concerns of consumers, payers, employers, and others about the quality of health care being provided.

Report cards are done for hospitals, system raise the issue to a level that cannot be denied or minimized. This demand requires the APN to measure and disseminate information on the value of the role. Nurses in advanced practice, similar to other providers and health-care system components, need knowledge and skills to assess and measure quality and determine the costs of their services if they are to demonstrate value.

It is not enough to “do good”; the APN must demonstrate how “doing good” translates into outcomes and costs. Accountability for practice has been and continues to be embedded in APN standards, education, and position descriptions. As Buerhaus and Norman (2001) suggest, the improvement of health-care quality is an “authentic commitment” (p. 68) for all stakeholders and will shape how health-care services are delivered.

Given the definition of advanced practice and its role components, APNs must contribute to and lead broad efforts to improve quality. Their actions in defining, measuring, and reporting on their performance will determine their future and that of the health-care system. The advanced practice framework includes patients, health care, nursing, and individual outcomes.

Thus, the APN is accountable for performance in all these domains. These concepts and obligations are further reflected for the graduate-level student (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2011).

Prepared at this level, the nurse is expected to have advanced role skills, possess refined analytical skills, operate from a broad-based perspective, have the ability to articulate views and positions, and connect theory and practice. He or she is expected to engage in quality and safety initiatives and collaborate inter-professionally to improve patient and population health outcomes.

The Quality Context If the health-care system is to reduce the effect and burden of illnesses, injuries, and disabilities and improve outcomes and functioning, all involved in the system must be responsible for identifying and improving the structures and processes for achieving positive outcomes. Research has shown that consumers and society are not getting what they want or need from the health-care system.

Errors continue to occur and patient experiences with care continue to be issues with outcomes becoming part Chapter 24 • Measuring Advanced Practice Nurse Performance 369 health plans, and provider groups with the intent of informing consumers and improving quality. Public reports of health-care quality are done by state and federal governments and private sector organizations.

Implementation of the PPACA has resulted in greater reporting at the state and federal levels. Although these reports, especially those related to patient satisfaction and experience with care, remain controversial (Rosen & Chen, 2016), they are being widely reported and linked to pay-for-performance initiatives.

Quality in service is demanded by anyone seeking that service. This is especially true for health-care services, both by the person receiving services and also for regulating bodies. Nurses must recognize the part they play in quality and safety in an obvious way, measuring, reporting, and articulating their role.

The importance of quality and safety is evident in the APN Consensus Document (NCSBN, 2008) that articulates the parameters and standards for licensure, accreditation, certification, and education (LACE). The APN’s performance will be measured and reported; thus, he or she must be engaged in determining best practices to meet patient and outcome expectations.

Values and Value in Health Care To contribute effectively to fulfilling the purpose of the health-care system, the APN needs a clear vision derived from personal and professional values. The APN needs to embrace society’s mandate for health-care value and clarify how the quality and cost issues relate to personal and professional goals.

Explicit incorporation of quality and cost values and critical thinking about these issues will result in actions and activities consistent with social demand. Therefore, the APN role can be justified and the needs of society will be better served. APNs will be well positioned to provide leadership in affecting quality and costs, the “bottom line” of health-care system performance.

To be effective leaders and advocates for value issues associated with patients and the role, the APN must know and appreciate what other stakeholders want. Thus, it will be easier to understand their behavior and thinking about health and health care and to develop and implement strategies to address value conflicts, thereby resulting in better health-care outcomes.

For example, the APN’s employer may value reducing costs to ensure organizational survival, whereas the APN’s highest value is meeting the diverse needs of patients served by the organization. Negotiation, compromise, and collaboration are necessary to incorporate both values into strategic planning efforts. Awareness of the importance of values, understanding the value equation, and possessing the skills to address value conflicts are critical for APN survival and health-care system improvement.

The purposes of this chapter are to introduce APN students to quality frameworks, performance measurement, and accountability and to suggest approaches to current issues and responses to trends. For the graduate APN, this chapter can enhance knowledge and skills that will promote the quality activities, better demonstrate accountability, and foster actions to justify the role of the APN in meeting societal demands for quality, cost-effective health care.

The complexity of the quality movement and the value equation are discussed. As the health-care system becomes increasingly complex, as stakeholders’ values and visions clash, and as there is growing dissatisfaction with the health-care system, APN leadership is critical. The challenge to establish value and be accountable at all levels may appear daunting, but it is exciting and potentially rewarding for the APN, the profession, and our society.

MSN560 University Access Cost and Quality for APNs Discussion: The Quality Environment

Beginning with Florence Nightingale, nursing has always given attention to quality issues. Despite our historical roots as leaders in this area, the profession has drifted to a more internal, narrow perspective. Until recently, this mirrored the attention our society gave to the quality of health care.

In the United States especially, the values of individualism and self-determination, science and technology, a disease and medical focus, the free-market economy, and nongovernmental interference shaped both the structures and processes of the health-care system, thus influencing its outcomes. Access and cost issues have, until recently, received more attention than quality, particularly at the societal level.

As cost concerns increased and new delivery systems—such as managed care—were implemented, greater attention focused on quality and value. In addition, industry and quality theories and practices in business suggested that lessons learned in these arenas could be applied to the health-care sector. 370 Unit 4 • Ethical, Legal, and Business Acumen practice behavior, collaboration, and APN satisfaction.

The outcomes related to APN structures and processes include mortality, morbidity, patient knowledge, patient satisfaction, service use, and health status. Quality of care can be viewed from a micro or macro perspective. At the micro level, quality is conceptualized and assessed for the patient, the provider, or the institution. Clinical and technical care, satisfaction with care, and quality of life represent components of a micro view (Shi & Singh, 2005).