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Tapping nursing’s potential to meet growing demand for primary care costs
By / April 28, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
We were pleased to host Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, at the Foundation in February. Dr. Hassmiller is Senior Advisor for Nursing, Director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action and Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program.  She began her presentation on the Future of Nursing Campaign for Action discussing the affects of high health care costs to all of us. 
For example: 
  • Individuals and families experience high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs
  • Businesses experience high health care costs for employees
  • Government experiences strained federal and state Medicare and Medicaid budgets   

Dr. Hassmiller reviewed health care spending from 1980 – 2011. The United States had the highest spending rate at 17.7%, followed by the Netherlands at 11.9%. Australia had the lowest spend at 8.9%.

Dr. Hassmiller made the business case for nurse practitioners helping to advance primary care by pointing out that tapping nursing’s potential is the fastest and least expensive way to meet growing demand for primary care costs. 
  • Between three and 12 nurses can be educated for the price of one doctor

  • Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortage of 45,000 primary care doctors by 2020 

  • Nurse practitioners are more likely to provide primary care in a wider range of community setting
  • Dr. Hassmiller highlighted a few employers that use on-site clinics staffed by nurses to improve access and management of care for employees. For example, Bellin Health Clinics offer workers a convenient place to have minor ailments treated, along with healthy living and preventive screenings. Fincantieri Marine Group spent $17 million annually on health care before Bellin established their clinic in 2011. By the end of 2011, spending was down to $15 million, even though the Group’s workforce grew slightly.
Dr. Hassmiller concluded her presentation with a call to action to help shape the future of healthcare by better preparing nurses to lead and practice to the full extent of their education and training. She offered the following action steps:
  • Join or support an Action Coalition 
  • Sign up for RWJF’s email alerts and newsletters
  • Visit their website  and participate in the online community 
  • Educate your organization about the Future of Nursing Campaign
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