Miami Dade College Nurse Managed Health Centers Responses


One major obstacle in our healthcare system has always been reaching the most vulnerable of our population with much needed medical services. The most vulnerable of our communities, including those living without health insurance coverage, lower socioeconomic class, immigrants, and people living in rural and desolate areas, are at greater risk of developing health related problems, yet lack access to healthcare that is needed to treat issues such as more prevalent mental health issues, communicable diseases, chronic diseases, and other ailments. Often times these vulnerable communities only have access to or seek medical help when disease progression has occurred at which point outcomes become poor. Nurse-managed health centers (NMHC’s) have provided a model to expand healthcare access to such vulnerable communities and provide healthcare to those who have limited access to it. In many areas, NMHC’s are the only source of primary health care, illustrating their importance. As our population ages and becomes more sick, the demand for primary care will only increase, and NMHC’s can help to serve the rising need of these services. Studies have shown that Nurse Practitioners can manage 80-90% of the care provided by primary care physicians, which makes this a viable model. Overall, the use of NMHC’s serves to increase health equity across the board.

There are barriers that exist to this model. One such barrier is that Nurse Practitioners are not awarded the same universal autonomy across all states. Often times, the right to practice and the freedom in which it is done so is dictated by local state laws and policies. NP’s are not always credentialed as primary care providers which limits reimbursements from private insurance companies to organizations that employ them. Clearly NMHC’s are needed in order to fill the void of healthcare where it is needed the most. I believe in order to move forward, there has to be a more universal/general governance of such a model, giving equal freedom and autonomy to practice on a national level rather than state level. There has to be a greater recognition that NP’s can provide excellent quality and competent care to where it is needed the most. In doing so, NP’s deserve to be in the same conversation as other primary health care providers.

Discussion 2:

Nurse-managed health centers and clinics offer affordable and accessible healthcare in vulnerable communities. These centers and clinics are authorized by Title III of the Public Health Service Act and are run by Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (Barkauskas, Pohl, Tanner, 2011). Many times, these clinics provide care to a population that is not capable to access or afford decent health care essential services. Vulnerable people, involving the uninsured, migrants and the working poor, are at larger risk of acquiring health complications while not having access to health care. Nurse-managed health centers are evolving throughout the country to take on the distinctive health care needs of these at-risk people.

The facilities offer a comprehensive variety of health care services, including immunizations, diabetes testing, physical examinations, and addiction programs (Hansen-Turton, Bailey & Ritter, 2010). It is significant to notice that the medical services given at these facilities usually are centered on disease prevention instead of treatment. Therefore, these facilities assist in preventing significant health complications and avoid the health sector from expending millions of dollars annually.

Nurse-managed health centers offer very much-needed health services at the neighborhood level and enable healthcare professionals to work together with social services to enhance the services that are offered in the communities. Despite nurse-managed health centers being key for maintaining the community healthy, sometimes Nurse Practitioners encounter obstacles that prevent them from continuing with their labor in the communities. Some providers have been reluctant to give NPs the appropriate credentials, doing it hard to obtain reimbursements from private insurance corporations. The need for primary health treatment will persist to rise in the upcoming future due to the rising elderly population and this fact means additional efforts should be made to increase the capability of primary care providers and Nurse-managed health centers and clinics.

1.5 paragraph each discussion with 1-2n credible resources

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