WUHC Summer: Nursing and the Implications of the ACA

Lucia Huang, WUHC Member

Hello! My name is Lucia Huang, and I am a rising junior in the Nursing and Healthcare Management Dual Degree Program. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Economics in the Wharton School with concentrations in Health Care Management and Policy as well as Operations and Information Management, in addition to simultaneously pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the School of Nursing.

This summer, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to conduct a research project investigating a question of my choice as one of eight Wharton students selected for the Wharton Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR). My research project, titled “Nurse Practitioner 

Scope of Practice Laws: Implications of the Primary Care Workforce,” will investigate the availability of the existing nurse practitioner workforce in current regulations and environments to meet the Affordable Care Act goals for primary care. I will conduct my research under the guidance of Dr. Matthew McHugh of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research in the School of Nursing and Dr. Daniel Polsky of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. My research findings have the potential to inform state scope of practice laws to ensure that there are sufficient primary care providers available to respond to the increasing patient demand following implementation of the ACA.

I love healthcare outcomes research because it empowers change on the front lines of healthcare and touches lives on a large scale. Most of all, I love problem solving; at its core, healthcare outcomes research investigates solutions to the challenge of delivering higher quality of care at lower costs in light of healthcare reform.

I am excited to live and engage with a community of other like-minded Wharton students passionate about research. As a native San Diegan, I look forward to exploring Philadelphia’s many neighborhoods, restaurants, and museums with friends. Stay tuned for research progress updates and tales of adventure!