Eliminating Disparities in Diabetes Prevention, Access, and Care Act (H.R. 2651)

Introduction to Diabetes

Surveys by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that over 30 million people in the US have diabetes, and 25 percent of them are not aware (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Moreover, more than a third of the countries’ adult population has prediabetes and thus ranking diabetes among the seven major causes of deaths in America. The risk factors of Diabetes include overweight, age 45 and above, having a relative with type 2 diabetes, or being physically active for less than three times a week, and for women who have undergone gestational Diabetes. Incidences of Diabetes also vary with race. Common complications associated with the condition include kidney and heart diseases. The medical expenses for diabetic patients are relatively higher than ordinary patients (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).

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Eliminating Disparities in Diabetes Prevention, Access, and Care Act (H.R. 2651)

The bill focuses on enhancing research at the National Institutes of Health on the causes and impacts of Diabetes in marginal communities. The bill also requires CDC to improve healthcare delivery to diabetic individuals, prevention, and offer public education to areas where Diabetes is more prevalent (Manoso et al., 2014). It will ensure patients can easily access community interventions such as the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Lastly, the bill requires the dispatch an adequate number of medical experts in regions that are more affected by Diabetes. Under the bill, the government will strengthen the public health workforce through the Health Resources and Service Administration.  The long term strategy involves direct reports issued to the Congress of federal actions regarding Diabetes and prediabetes status of the minority populations. Besides, the bill requires the development of strategies to address the existing disparity.

Legislators involved

The bill was sponsored by Miss Diana DeGette, a representative of Colorado in Congress. The cosponsors of the bill in the Congress include Representative Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, Representative Robin L. Kelly of Illinois, Representative Michelle Lujan Grishman of New Mexico, Representative Barbara Lee of California, and Representative Denny Heck of Washington.

Roles of APRN assisting the policy

Diabetes has reached alarming levels in the U.S., and all stakeholders must play their role in the fight. Nurses are at the center of clinicians with an important role to play. Nurse practitioners are advocates for health care policy. They possess both the expertise and education qualifications to facilitate the passing of relevant legislation. APRNs can be involved in the fight against Diabetes and the passing of the bill through influencing people in the respective states to support the bill.   APRNs can conduct quality improvement programs in their work settings and use the findings to implement new policies in healthcare facilities where they operate.

APRNs can also write to their state or federal legislators in support of the bill since they interact with patients regularly (Everett et al., 2011). They could share personal stories on how the bill could help reduce complications on a diabetic patient or reduce the cost of healthcare by helping to detect the disease at an early stage and intervene appropriately. They can also advise the state on the distribution of resources to handle Diabetes.  A different way in which APRNs can promote the bill entails joining professional nursing organizations that advocate for the rights of patients. Members of nursing organizations can offer testimony supporting the need for a bill.  

Benefits of (H.R. 2651)

The policy facilitates equal distribution of resources between patients from the marginal communities and the upper-class communities. The availability of resources in hospitals would make clinicians more effective in treating diabetic patients and reducing the cost of medication.   The bill will help in providing educational programs to society regarding how to identify symptoms of Diabetes and how to care for family members with the condition to avoid complications. The policies could be used by stakeholders in the healthcare industry to develop centers for caring for diabetic patients, train the society on matters of Diabetes, and to legislate more laws that protect the lives of patients.

Conclusion

The issue of Diabetes is a menace in America and needs accurate measures to help control it. The implementation of H.R. 2651will is likely to improve the situation as it not only addresses the issue of treating patients who have Diabetes but also requires the application of preventive measures. APRNs and all stakeholders can play a crucial role in its implementation. Should the government implement more of such legislations, the future of America regarding Diabetes is bright since the Diabetes may soon become a thing of the past.  

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). National diabetes fact sheet: national estimates and general information on diabetes and prediabetes in the United States, 2011. Atlanta, GA: US department of health and human services, centers for disease control and prevention, 201(1), 2568-2569.

Everett, C., Thorpe, C., Palta, M., Carayon, P., Bartels, C., & Smith, M. A. (2013). Physician assistants and nurse practitioners perform effective roles for teams caring for Medicare patients with diabetes. Health Affairs, 32(11), 1942-1948.

Manoso, M. W., Cizik, A. M., Bransford, R. J., Bellabarba, C., Chapman, J., & Lee, M. J. (2014). Medicaid status is associated with higher surgical site infection rates after spine surgery. Spine, 39(20), 1707.

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