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The Affordable Care Act Quality Initiatives

The Affordable Care Act Quality Initiatives

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was enacted in March 2010. The main goal was to remodel and modernize the current healthcare system by allowing more people to access cheap, high-quality healthcare while reducing the amount of money the United States spends annually[Oba]. Several reforms the act brought about were connected to coverage extension, prevention emphasis, patient safety, efficiency promotion, generating accountability, and improving healthcare quality by emphasizing patient outcomes[Placeholder1]. The creation of the “Marketplace” provided citizens with a place to obtain insurance at a fraction of the cost it used to be. Via tax credits and financial help, low-income households and small companies can purchase plans at reduced rates, providing them with the required coverage while avoiding the burden of high health costs and potential bankruptcy owing to medical bills[Placeholder1]. Some of the changes related to the Affordable Care Act that have a direct impact on the Marketplace plans include, but are not limited to:

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Allowing children to continue on their parent’s health insurance until age 26.

Businesses can no longer charge unreasonably higher charges or refuse coverage based on health issues.

The abolition of annual or lifetime financial penalties

Implementing the necessity for larger firms to provide coverage to their employees

Enhancing children’s availability and ability to access

requires all plans to offer a minimal range and no-cost preventative care, birth control, and OB-GYN services[Oba].

Millions of people have benefited from the Affordable Care Act’s services since its inception. According to the United States Census Bureau, uninsured Americans fell from fifty million in 2010 to forty-eight million in 2012[Placeholder1]. This means two million people gained access to health insurance and essential medical services. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, by the end of 2016, the total number of Americans with coverage under the Affordable Care Act will be twenty-five million[Placeholder1]. Much can be said about the improvement in quality metrics brought about by the Affordable Care Act. For the sake of this paper, I will concentrate on efforts to improve quality and patient safety.

Metrics of Quality and Patient Safety

One of the most significant changes the Affordable Care Act brought is how Medicaid and Medicare reimburse facilities and healthcare professionals. Procedures have been put in place so that the quality of patient care directly impacts the amount received. This has been accomplished through a “pay-for-performance” system as well as a Medicare incentive program known as the “Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program” [Dav12].

Value-Based Purchasing in Hospitals

This initiative is intended to financially reward hospitals that have demonstrated high-quality patient treatment and services through a “pay-for-performance” mechanism. This is measured using a system that contains twelve quality metrics, the majority of which revolve around the prevention of medical errors, the decrease in readmission rates, and the direct correlation of patient experience input to payments. Hospitals with higher quality ratings will earn more significant amounts, while those with lower ratings will receive fewer payouts. These approaches may lessen hospital stays’ negative consequences, improve general health, and save millions of dollars in medical costs and premature deaths[Dav12].

In conclusion, some believe the Affordable Care Act has benefited healthcare reform, while others prefer the old system. In any case, there is no denying that tremendous progress has been made in terms of both access and quality. The government has recognized many of its relevance by realizing how patient care quality directly influences the system.

Other Related Post: Patient Experience Measurement Program in Saudi Arabia.


Davis, J. (2012, October 4). Achieving Key Quality and Patient Safety Measures of the Affordable Care Act. Retrieved from Beckers Hospital Review: measures-of-the-affordable-care-act.html

Obamacare Facts. (n.d.). Obamacare Facts: Facts on the Affordable Care Act. Retrieved from Obamacare Facts:

US Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Strategic Goal 1: Strengthen Healthcare. Retrieved from US Department of Health and Human Services:

A legislative priority of the New York State Nurses Association for 2019 was to “safe staffing for quality care act”



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 Based on your text, the above and further readings:


  1. Describe ways nurses could use their clinical power to convince legislature, organizations, and the public to support and acquire safe staffing.

    The Affordable Care Act Quality Initiatives

    The Affordable Care Act Quality Initiatives

  2. Do you believe this would decrease the nursing shortage? Why or why not?
  3. Share an experience where clinical power was used to provide quality care to your patient/client.
  4. Answer each question in a paragraph (so three sections in total). For question no.3, you have to add a clinical experience as a “nursing student”.. you can include the registered nurse you were shadowing on a clinical day used to provide quality patient care.

Include at least two relevant research/ literature in addition to your textbook.

Make sure to cite the source and date of publication. (including in-text citation)

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