The Clinical Nurse Leader: Prepared for an Era of Healthcare Reform

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Abstract

PROBLEM.

Passage of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require change in the healthcare systems. The clinical nurse leader must be prepared to lead and shape the changing environment to achieve maximum outcomes for patients and families. Movement toward integrated care delivery across the care continuum, the transition of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to a value-based funding model, and accountability for high-quality, cost-effective care are just some of the drivers of this new integrated healthcare system.

IMPLICATIONS.

Reimbursement models that reward those health systems that are able to meet benchmark performance standards will result in major shifts in how health systems operate. Expertise in care coordination across the healthcare continuum is essential for maximum reimbursement. Payment for value instead of volume delivered is a major reimbursement transition coming to the acute care setting, necessitating increased attention to mining data necessary to capture quality patient outcomes for maximum reimbursement.

CONCLUSIONS.

The clinical nurse leader is ideally suited to function within these integrated systems of the future, and possesses the skills needed to assist healthcare systems to meet this challenge.

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