Nurse Execs Oppose ACA Replacement

The American Organization of Nurse Executives has expressed opposition to the bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act, joining others such as the American Hospital Association and American Medical Association. In a letter to Congress last week, Maureen Swick, the CEO of AONE, expressed reservations about the American Health Care Act, which would replace the ACA. "We are deeply concerned about legislation that would disrupt and deny care to the millions who have benefitted from the ACA," writes Swick, who is also the chief nursing officer of the AHA. "AONE is concerned the most vulnerable populations, who gained access to needed health care services especially through Medicaid, will lose lifesaving coverage under this proposal." Passing the revised law, she writes, may create instability in insurance markets, reduce benefits and disrupt services. 

An Automated Triage Nurse  

She can take your vitals, update your medical record and renew your medical history in about three minutes. Is she an extremely efficient nurse? Nah, she’s a machine called WellPoint, Engadget reports. Designed by Belgian company BeWell, WellPoint is a touchscreen with a built-in scale, a cuff for measuring blood pressure and an oximeter. BeWell is looking into adding blood sugar monitors to accommodate diabetes testing, too. If a patient is on the verge of an emergency, it will send an alarm, as it did after interacting with a patient on the precipice of an embolism. Just don’t expect it to laugh at your jokes or to give you the TLC that only a human can truly provide, though perhaps WellPoint can be friends with Duke University's nurse Trina.

Nurses Prevent Emergency Visits

In addition to the growing use of emergency medical technicians to perform wellness visits in the home, nurses in some areas are doing more house calls to ease the burden on emergency personnel and organizations. One of them, Green Valley (Ariz.) Fire District, has a full-time nurse practitioner on call during the week to deal with health problems at people’s homes, which reduces visits to emergency departments and by EMTs, according to Green Valley News. “My patients are real appreciative to not have to leave their home and sit and wait in a facility where there are other people who are sick,” said Adrianne O’Brien, the district’s nurse practitioner. “Most of my patients call the day of, but the longest they’ll have to wait for help is a day, unless it’s a weekend,” when there is currently no one on call.

NPs Beseech: Be Good to Your Kidneys

March is National Kidney Month, and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners  is joining the call for everybody to find out if they are at risk for kidney disease and to schedule a screening with their physician. About 26 million Americans have the potentially life-threatening disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation. “This month NPs are urging Americans to learn their risk factors, from high blood pressure to family history, and talk to their health care provider about improving their kidney health,” says AANP President Cindy Cook, DNP.

Rapid Fire

Here are a few more nurse-related items that caught our eye in the past week, in rapid fashion:

  • Doctors are rallying against efforts to give nurse practitioners more freedom and authority, according to the Greenville News
  • A bill that aimed to require a nurse in almost every school in Arkansas has failed in the state house, according
  • And finally, the Santa Fe New Mexican takes a closer look at Karen Wells, who is the first nurse to chair the board of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.