NR717 Policy Analysis to Impact Population Health Essay 

NR717 Policy Analysis to Impact Population Health Essay 


Defining the Problem

The term health disparity is used to describe the discrepancies in health status between subgroups of the population. Inequities occur when disparities between groups are considered unnecessary and unfair (Benson & Koroshetz, 2022). Socioeconomic status is correlated with health and nutrition disparities. Literacy, work status, shelter, nutrition, exercise program opportunities, and health care are all examples of social determinants of health (SDH) that need to be addressed to reduce health disparities (Benson & Koroshetz, 2022). The widespread health inequalities within different countries can only be reduced via significant advances in the physical and social settings where vulnerable populations reside and work. The health and nutritional status of populations in countries where the SDH has been addressed has improved as they are the leading causes of health disparities.

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Assembling Evidence

People from lower and higher income backgrounds now have equal access to healthcare courtesy of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). State and local governments have benefited from the act’s funding of disease prevention programs targeting hypertension and cardiovascular disease through the Prevention and Public Health Fund (Silberman, 2020). Moreover, it has enhanced the collection and utilization of data on race, ethnicity, gender, primary language spoken at home, and disability status, all essential for a comprehensive assessment of health inequalities and determining effective strategies to address them. The government has also set up a system of departments dedicated to improving the health of minorities inside the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Developing Alternatives

Adopting policies that allow organizations to research ways of reducing health disparities can also be considered. For instance, Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change is a financed initiative that, among other things, aims to promote healthcare fairness by disseminating systematic assessments of the research on proven methods for minimizing healthcare inequities. Institutions and organizations that have set aside resources to help fight disparities in health should be given a chance to make an impact.

Criteria to Evaluate the Alternatives

Since their introduction, the ACA standards have provided hospitals and organizations that have adopted them with a foundational operational structure. Security, safety, organization, care, initiatives, justice, and administration are just a few areas where ACA standards impact (Silberman, 2020). The alternatives should be able to follow these standards set by the ACA to prove effective.

Project Outcomes

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has facilitated to reduce the healthcare access differences between low and high-income households. People can now afford healthcare services through initiatives like Medicare and Medicaid. This policy has solved the social determinants involving the acquisition of care, especially socioeconomic status (McIntyre & Song, 2019). In the future, the care aims to decrease health disparities, especially among disadvantaged populations.

Analysis of Trade-offs

Other options, such as the education of the public on awareness about health disparities, their effects and how to solve them, have been shown to produce satisfactory outcomes. Health disparities based on racial discrimination cost $93 billion annually in extra medical care expenses and $42 billion in lost productivity (Galvani et al., 2020). Health inequalities are expensive and detrimental to the nation since they contribute to more excellent rates of sickness and mortality from preventable causes among populations who traditionally have less access to resources. Community and legislative actions are needed to address healthcare disparities.

Making Decisions

The ACA policy should be adopted in helping to decrease the existing health disparities among the population of African Americans in Jackson. It will ensure that individuals can access affordable and high-quality healthcare, helping to bridge the gaps seen in the prevalence of hypertension and heart disease burden observed in the population. Higher reimbursements should also be established to ensure healthcare providers can offer superior care.

Communicating Results

Improvements in coverage and healthcare availability have occurred on a national scale due to the ACA’s coverage expansions. Recent research and other studies show that this policy has also contributed to historically low rates of racial disparity in accessibility and coverage since 2014.



Benson, T., & Koroshetz, J. (2022). Health disparities: research that matters. Stroke, 53(3), 663–669.

Galvani, P., Parpia, S., Foster, M., Singer, H., & Fitzpatrick, C. (2020). Improving the prognosis of health care in the USA. The Lancet, 395(10223), 524–533.

McIntyre, A., & Song, Z. (2019). The US affordable care act: Reflections and directions at the close of a decade. PLOS Medicine, 16(2), 1–3.

Silberman, P. (2020). The affordable care act: Against the odds, it’s working. North Carolina Medical Journal, 81(6), 364–369.

Policy Analysis to Impact Population Health



The purpose of this discussion is to analyze a health policy related to the selected population and practice problem.

This week, you discovered that the focus of healthcare policy has a growing emphasis on population health outcomes. As a DNP-prepared nurse, you must be able to critically appraise healthcare policies to influence policy decisions at every level.


Review the lesson and readings about Bardach’s eightfold steps to policy analysis, especially in the Chapter 4 Policy Analysis section of the Patton text. Then, select a healthcare policy that impacts, or has the potential to impact, the practice problem and population selected in previous weeks of this course.

The following links will assist in your search for policies and/or bills.

Current Legislative ActivitiesLinks to an external site. (

NursingLinks to an external site. (Gov info)

NursingLinks to an external site. (Govtrack)

You can select a broad, national health policy (i.e., Accountable Care Act) or one that is specified for a specific health issue (i.e., Minority Diabetes Initiative Act).

Critically appraise the healthcare policy using Bardach’s eightfold steps to policy analysis:

Define the problem

Assemble evidence

Develop alternatives

Select criteria to evaluate the alternatives

Project outcomes

Analyze trade-offs

Make decisions

Communicate results

Please click on the following link to review the DNP Discussion Guidelines on the Student Resource Center program page:

Link (webpage): DNP Discussion GuidelinesLinks to an external site.

Program Competencies

This discussion enables the student to meet the following program competencies:

Analyzes health care policies to advocate for equitable health care and social justice to all populations and those at risk due to social determinants of health. (POs 2, 9)

Translates a synthesis of research and population data to support preventative care and improve the nation’s health. (PO 1)

Leads others in professional identity, advanced clinical judgment, systems thinking, resilience, and accountability in selecting, implementing, and evaluating clinical care. (PO 1)

Course Outcomes

This discussion enables the student to meet the following course outcomes:

Critically analyze the history, formation, and implementation of local, state and national health policies from the perspectives of stakeholders and the profession of nursing. (PC 5; PO 2)

Synthesize ethical and legal principles to advocate for value-based, equitable, and ethical health policies at the micro, meso, and macrosystem levels. (PC 5; PO 9)

Assimilate epidemiology principles and interventions to impact the social determinants of health, Global Burden of Disease, and population health outcomes. (PCs 7, 8; PO 1)

Demonstrate collaborative interprofessional leadership and political competency to develop and implement healthcare policy to improve healthcare delivery and population health outcomes. (PC 5; PO 2)

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