Nurses: Reform Emphasizes Business Side of Health Care

Article excerpt

Byline: Marie Wilson mwilson@dailyherald.com

Nurses always have been among those on the front lines of health care, so what do they have to say about the health care reform recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court?

The Daily Herald caught up with Cathy Smithson and Kathleen Ferket of the , in town this week for a convention in Lombard, to get their thoughts.

Smithson, who serves as president of the organization that works to advance nursing leadership, said the coming changes put more emphasis on the business side of nursing and require nurses to understand that the better care they provide, the more likely their hospital is to be reimbursed by insurance companies.

Ferket, chairwoman of the organization's policy and advocacy committee and executive director for patient care services at in Arlington Heights, said the reforms make all health care providers -- not just doctors -- more accountable for patient outcomes.

Here is an edited version of the conversation.

Q. What is your reaction to the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold almost all provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?

Ferket: Even though many of us were unsure about what was going to happen with the Supreme Court ruling, we recognized the train was already out of the station. Accountable care and many of the initiatives involved in health care reform are already being enacted. The whole phenomenon of the hospital being the central point of care for patients is really expanding to primary care throughout the community.

Q. What will change most for nurses and nurse leaders when health care reform is fully implemented?

Smithson: We will be having a different structure of care -- how we deliver it and where we deliver it. We will be looking for those creative, innovative strategies that will help us think about the way we take care of individuals in the future.

Ferket: How do we work smarter? …