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June/July 2013

Feature Story
Role Change

Nurses have always coordinated care, but now that it is a healthcare reform priority, they are taking on new roles.

HIGH COSTS, UNEVEN QUALITY of care and poor patient outcomes are the big problems with healthcare in the United States. The Affordable Care Act is relying on the coordination of care as the solution to these problems. Care coordination is not a new concept, but nurses are critical to its success. They are key to boosting patient satisfaction, quality care and using hospital resources more effectively; and now, the ACA’s focus on care coordination will open new doors for them.

The ACA offers incentives for providers to come together to coordinate care and to create models of care that focus on prevention and management of chronic illness; these models will better utilize the knowledge, skills and abilities of registered nurses and other healthcare professionals, and increase opportunities for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to serve in primary care provider roles. Nurses will play a substantial coordinating role in improving the delivery of healthcare; and helping these professionals step into their new roles is an AFT Healthcare priority.


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About Healthwire

Healthwire covers news and information relevant to the nurses and health professionals represented by AFT Healthcare. It is published five times a year and is mailed to all healthcare members of the AFT as a benefit of membership. Single copies are free on request. Questions, comments and inquiries about Healthwire should be sent to its managing editor Adrienne Coles.  
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