Healthcare Platform

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Healthcare Platform

❖ Children who experience mental, emotional, or behavior issues have poor school and health outcomes.❖ Since mental and physical health are interconnected, early intervention and prevention are effective means to address potential mental disorders.(Murphey, Barry, & Vaugn, 2013)

Promoting mental health awareness in minority populations and supporting children's wellbeing, which includes bringing attention to health disparities faced by Hispanics, Asian Americans, and African Americans in New York State.Please see attachments for further details of the proposal.

Susan Clark - President of Capital Edge Consulting, LLC❖ Registered nurse with over 25 years of practice❖ Experienced in healthcare politics and policy for nurses❖ Previously employed by a private lobbying firm for trade associations and corporate clients, and as a staff lobbyist for the Illinois Nurses Association from 1994-2001(Capitol Edge Consulting, LLC, n.d)Please see attachments for letter.

Cornterstone of Platform

Expanding nurses' scope of practice is one way of meeting the growing demands for healthcare services created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).❖ Transforming the nursing profession is a crucial element to achieving the nation's vision of an effective, affordable, and accessible healthcare system. These national goals cannot be achieved without maximum contribution from nurses.❖ The ACA calls for a number of healthcare improvements (management of acute and chronic conditions, primary care prevention and wellness, and prevention of hospital-acquired infections) that nurses are well equipped to handle.(Institute of Medicine, 2010)❖ A public health approach that integrates behavioral health and primary care services has the potential to improve amenities and overcome barriers (e.g. lack of access to mental health specialists, income and insurance issues, stigma surrounding mental illness, and trust and relationship with the primary care provider).❖ Primary care settings are the main source of healthcare for many minority populations and individuals with limited English proficiency. Therefore, it is important for primary care medical professionals to conduct an integrated mental health screening, identification, and treatment.❖ Additionally, healthcare providers should be aware of the inter-disciplinary collaboration, cultural, and linguistic competence necessary in their practices.❖ With globalization, racial and ethnic diversity comprises about 26% of the U.S. population. By 2042, racial and ethnic minorities are expected to compose the majority population. However, despite awareness and education, many of these patients' mental needs are not met. Some barriers that interfere with a patient's ability to see early intervention are: lack of insurance, limited health literacy, and cultural beliefs. Thus, a public health policy that is culturally competent is essential to eliminate disparities.(Primm et al., 2010)

❖ Advocate for policies that promote integration of research, technology, and collaboration with healthcare professionals to provide culturally competent care.❖ Foster partnerships among families, educators, and the involved community to provide caring and supportive relationships, encourage healthy behaviors, and teach effective coping strategies.(Murphey, Barry, & Vaughn, 2013)



Removal of Health Disparities and Improving Children's Mental Health

Medicaid: enacted in 1965 under the Social Security Act; provides health and long-term coverage for 20% of enrolled children up to 26 years of age.Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP): created as part of the Balanced Act of 1997 to complement Medicaid and expand coverage; provides limited coverage for uninsured or low-income children.❖ Children are currently covered by Medicaid (28 million), CHIP (5.7 million), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).❖ However, many states (e.g. Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Texas) still have a large number of children who are uninsured (7 million) despite their eligibility for government-financed Medicaid and CHIP; this is partially attributed to unaffordable premiums or a family's lack of employee coverage.Proposals for the Current Systems❖ A recently-passed bill has extended CHIP funding for the next 2 years, allowing the uninsured to receive the help they need. Since many are unaware of the program's existence, education is the most important tool that will enable uninsured individuals to learn about available health options.❖ All healthcare professionals should devote a portion of exam time to assess and treat mental health issues since they can significantly impact child development.(Rudowitz, 2014)

Current Medicare/ Medicaid Systems

Please see attachments for full reference list.

Lobbyists to Contact for Support

❖ Cultural groups have unique values, beliefs, behaviors, and histories that directly impact health and the efficacy of interventions.❖ Nurses are ideally suited to provide care because of their holistic approach, ability to partner with communities, and knowledge base in clinical practice and research to provide to the most vulnerable communities.Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the United States:❖ Are less likely than whites to seek mental health treatment.❖ May experience acculturative stress when moving to a new cultural environment; this stressful life event may exacerbate mental health issues.❖ Face inequality in socioeconomic environments (e.g. racism, discrimination, violence, and poverty), which can take a toll on mental health.❖ Social stigma regarding mental health discourages many from seeking help.(Murphey, Barry, & Vaughn, 2013)


Views on the National Health System

❖ Children's health needs can only be met by better care coordination and increased coverage by Medicare and CHIP, programs which are financed by the federal and state governments.❖ Medicare and CHIP provide health coverage to millions of children across the country, including African Americans (54%), Hispanic (52%), and Asians (25%). Although these programs have been in place for several years, there has been much debate regarding funding (Rudowitz, 2014). Several months ago, a bill was passed to extend CHIP federal funding for the next 2 years though it would already add to the government's growing deficit (Carey, 2015).❖ The ACA increased the number of eligible children to receive health coverage based on a family's Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI).❖ Although funding is extremely important to promote change, local governments also need to create opportunities (e.g. in schools, medical offices, social agencies, or community centers) for families to sign up their eligible children for coverage.❖ Public health insurance excludes undocumented and recent legal immigrants.(Rudowitz, 2014)❖ Grants can provide another source of funding to allow community centers and disadvantaged areas to provide low-cost medical care (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2015). For example, Mr. Lopes is providing a $1 million grant in memory of his son who died from a mental illness.

Financial Considerations


❖ Advocate for policy changes that facilitate more collaboration between primary care, mental health, and community healthcare providers for disadvantaged populations❖ Develop comprehensive and culturally-tailored interventions❖ Utilize more community-oriented health care delivery models (e.g. newborn visits, school visits, nurse-facilitated clinics)

Nurses' Future Role in Eliminating Health Disparities


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