The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is designed to provide more Americans with affordable, quality health insurance coverage, as well as decrease the growth of health care spending in the United States. As with any piece of legislation, there are both advantages and disadvantages. However, with the ACA, there are several benefits that can be advantageous to not only patients, but to medical facilities and private physician practices.
Financial Benefit To Healthcare Providers
The ACA expands government-funded health care coverage, Medicaid, to all adults who make less than 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Because of this, the pool of government-funded patients will increase, and many individuals who currently have private insurance will drop it and enroll in Medicaid.
From a patient’s perspective, this makes sense because patients will have lower health care bills after being treated in the hospital. This may be viewed as a loss for the hospitals, however. A study published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concluded that for every dollar lost from private insurers, this expansion would increase the hospital’s Medicaid revenues by $2.59.
In addition, expansion of Medicaid allows health care providers to use the ACA’s presumptive eligibility policy to obtain payment for a large amount of the uncompensated medical care that remains.
More Control For Health Care Providers
Prior to the ACA, insurance companies had a large amount of control over the medical treatment that was occurring in hospitals and private physician practices across the country. The Affordable Health Care Act puts control of medical treatment back in the hands of the medical providers, not the insurance company, so providers can treat their patients in the manner in which they see fit.
In addition, with health care insurance being more affordable than before, physicians will be compensated better than they were prior to the ACA, because of the increased number of patients with health insurance.
Cut Costs and Improve Care With Electronic Health Records
The Affordable Health Care Act mandates that hospitals and private physician practices eliminate the use of paper medical records and operate solely with electronic medical records. The mandated switch to electronic medical records will offer many benefits to medical providers. Electronic medical records will decrease the administrative burden, cut costs, decrease medical errors, standardize billing, and allow for a secure and confidential exchange of medical records. Ultimately, this means a greater quality of health care, while lowering administrative costs.
Increase Career Training and Creation of Jobs
The Affordable Health Care Act, in addition to the benefits offered to health care consumers, will allow for the training of approximately 15,000 new primary care physicians over the next several years. In addition, many nurse practitioners will be trained, due to the construction of nurse-managed health care clinics in underserved areas. The National Health Service Corps is even offering scholarships in order to attract new physicians and assistants who are willing to practice in these medically underserved areas.
The ACA also encourages states to focus on the needs of the health care workforce. Currently, five million dollars has been allocated by each state in order to increase the health care workforce from 10-25 percent over the next ten years.
The Affordable Health Care Act not only serves to offer a greater number of Americans affordable, quality health care, it is also structured in a manner that allows hospitals, outpatient medical facilities, and private physician practices the freedom to thrive and grow.
SteleRAD’s Proactive Positioning Prior to ACA Legislation
SteleRAD has continuously strived to remain on the cutting edge of Diagnostic Radiology and Interventional Radiology, which has put us in a position to thrive under the Affordable Health Care Act. SteleRAD has been operating with digital PACS systems for image interpretation; therefore, every patient can have images interpreted almost immediately, and treatments can be initiated far more rapidly. In addition, our patient invoicing system is in line with the methods mandated by the ACA.
Ultimately, the SteleRAD group has always been focused on ensuring all of our patients receive the highest quality radiological services. From this perspective, even in the presence of the new legislation, the level of care and the overall patient experience will remain at the highest level when SteleRAD radiologists are involved. Call 954-358-5250 orcontact us online to learn more about our services.