Patient education materialsThe ongoing implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often called simply “ACA”) offers nurse-writers a few splendid opportunities. Let’s look at three of them.

Patient engagement materials

‘Patient engagement’ is a key feature of the ACA. In order to obtain maximum reimbursement dollars, healthcare providers must meet certain criteria for engaging with their patient population. One measure, for example, requires healthcare providers to entice at least 5% of their patients to communicate by electronic methods. Currently this is mainly being handled with electronic health records (EHRs), but the concept of ‘patient engagement’ — getting patients actively involved in their own health and wellness — surely will be expanding into other areas, including patient education.

No matter what ‘patient engagement’ looks like now or in the future, you can be sure someone is going to have to create written materials to accomplish it. These may include patient newsletters that showcase ‘success stories’ or profiles of patients who used electronic communication with their providers to achieve a measurable health outcome; welcome packets that spell out methods in which patients can engage with their provider electronically; or condition-specific brochures that aim to improve patient wellness. And that’s just three examples.

Yes, patient engagement represents a great potential specialty for nurse-writers.

ACA policy reporting

The ACA exists as thousands (if not millions) of lines of legalese in the form of a federal law. No one understands all the nuances of it yet. If you’re good with legislative lingo and can decode that stuff, you can find plenty of writing assignments in which you provide plain-language explanations of various parts of the ACA. Think in terms of answering questions like:

  • What does the ‘individual mandate’ mean for individuals — and their employers?
  • What’s inside the next phase of implementation, and when does it occur?
  • What major deadlines should providers be aware of?
  • What little-known incentives contained in the law might providers miss out on if they’re not aware of them?
  • What penalties apply to individuals and companies — and what are the deadlines?

Everyone has questions about ACA. If you can help provide answers, you should have plenty of gigs.

Healthcare marketing materials

The ACA created a much more competitive healthcare environment. Insurance companies, hospitals and even individual doctors are competing for patients. This presents tremendous opportunity for good healthcare marketing writers to thrive.

I’m using the term ‘healthcare marketing’ to include everything from hard advertising to soft collateral, such as newsletters, web sites, blogs and even social media. Personally, I love creating healthcare marketing materials. I’ve noticed a nice uptick in steady work since the implementation of ACA. If you have any interest in healthcare marketing or content writing, this may be your golden moment.

I’m confident the ACA provides many writing opportunities I’m not naming here. What opportunities for nurse-writers do you see in healthcare reform? Share them in the comments!

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Wishing you well!

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Image via rubygoes