The Healthcare Reform Law called The Affordable Care Act was made to dramatically change health coverage and care, which was in hopes of bringing high-quality, affordable health insurance to all Americans. Some of the goals of the new reform law were to expand Medicaid to more lower-income families, create a place known as health insurance market places or more commonly known as exchanges where consumers will be able to buy high-quality, affordable private plans, and lastly it will protect consumers by eliminating coverage denials based on pre-existing conditions, and this would require health insurance companies to spend the majority of the money they get on providing excellent healthcare, and also offer free services and more to patients.(FamiliesUSA, 2010) To some people there are some issues with this new law, and this is not unexpected because healthcare can be such a tricky field to navigate and those who make new laws want to do what they think is the best for the public.
Some of the issues that are concerning to the public and lawmakers are: what laws are requiring the electronic medical record, when must the new law be implemented, what will happen if the new law is not implemented, what insurance is now provided by the affordable care act, how do the political parties feel about the healthcare reform, and lastly is there a chance that the bill will be repealed, there have been failed attempts in the past. In todays healthcare world technology is a huge component of how many public and private facilities are ran. Technology is used when it comes to medical records, it can be used to check patients into a facility and keep all of a patient’s information safe, but also be a reference for any medical staff, doctors, physical therapists, or any person in the medical field and give them the ability to go back and look at a patients past and current medical history and help them figure out the best plan of action to treat their patient. There are laws and other factors that go into implementing the electronic medical record. As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act all public and private healthcare providers and other eligible professionals were required to adopt and show meaningful use of electronic medical records by January 1, 2014 to maintain their existing Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement levels. (USF Health) When a facility is applying meaningful use of a health record it means that they are achieving improved quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities, they include a patient and their family more, improve healthcare for the public, and maintain privacy and security of patient health information.
Healthcare providers that did implement the new EHR system were awarded with financial incentives and healthcare organizations who did not comply with the new system by 2015 experienced a 1% reduction in Medicare reimbursements. (USF Health) The reduction in Medicare reimbursement has gone even higher since this law was first put into effect. In 2017 Medicare reimbursements were raised by 3% and in 2018 they were raised again by going up to 4% in reimbursements. In the future this reduction could rise dramatically by going up to 95% depending on the future adjustments of Medicare. (Raintree Systems) With the number rising how it has over the years and how it may rise so bad in the future it is very important for healthcare facilities to consider the importance and value that this system will bring to their facility and how they may want to start the process sooner than later. One of the good things that came about after the new law was mandated was that there was a significant growth in health informatics, which is a field that merges information technology and healthcare into one. This type of job requires a healthcare professional that has skills and knowledge and they are able to develop, implement, and manage IT software and applications in the healthcare environment, these type of professionals are in high demand and this is expected to keep growing as the years go on. Since the field is so young it is expected that there will be a 12% rate of growth in employment opportunities for other related fields, some of these fields include medical records or health information technicians, medical or health managers, computer support specialists, and computer system managers. There are many titles and responsibilities of health informatic professionals.
Some of the titles include Nursing Informatics Specialists, Health Informatics Consultant, Chief Medical Information Officer, Health Informatics Director, and Electronic Medical Record Keeper, with all of these options and more this field has a great outlook for its future. (USF Health) While this new field has opened up many more job opportunities and more options for people who are wanting to enter the healthcare world there are still some problems with implementing the new EHR system. Although the government and regulators are strongly implementing the new system some healthcare providers are finding it difficult to do so with the new system. For healthcare providers who are finding it difficult they will be able to apply for hardship exceptions, and this will help protect them against the reduction in Medicare reimbursements. Eligible providers may be able to apply for the hardship exceptions if they meet the following standards: they are new professionals who don’t have the time to apply meaningful use in their current practice, a natural disaster has happened and impacted their records, they don’t have face-to-face interactions with their patients, they lack follow-up equipment, they don’t have control of the availability of CEHRT (Certified Electronic Health Record Technology) in their practice, and lastly they lack internet access or the optimal IT infrastructure for EMR implementation. (Raintree Systems) It is very important that all facilities that can have an EHR system do have one in place s that everything is able to run more smoothly in a facility.
Another thing that has come into effect is the Affordable Care Act, what this does is that it makes it possible to ban health insurance companies from discriminating against people who have preexisting conditions while also keeping insurance markets stable and functional. (Families USA, 2017) One of the key features of this law is that it requires insurers cover people with preexisting conditions without charging more or limiting someone’s benefits, and this means that people that have health problems have coverage and if they are in an urgent situation, they are able to use it and this won’t make their coverage costly, other ways it helps individuals out is by allowing kids up to 26 to stay on their parents plan, it expanded Medicaid, it requires most plans to cover preventative care, and it also improved mental health and substance use disorder coverage. (Families USA) When the Affordable Car Act was passed federal lawmakers made a commitment that individuals with preexisting conditions should be able to buy insurance on the same bases that are offered to other consumers, for this to remain accessible for everyone regardless of their age, health status, or gender people that are younger and have a good health status should also enroll and the ACA also provides financial insurance that makes coverage affordable to people with low or moderate incomes. Another thing that the ACA also recognizes is all people don’t meet the individual coverage requirement and can’t afford insurance that they should not be penalized, some of the groups that do not meet the individual coverage requirement and are not penalized are people with incomes below the legal requirement for filing federal income tax returns, people that have experienced a financial hardship that would prevent them from obtaining insurance, and there are also a few others.
If the individual coverage disappeared there would be millions of dollars lost and premiums would go up. Lastly what do the political parties think about the Affordable Care Act and is there a chance that the bill will be repealed soon. Since it became a law in 2010 Republicans have wanted to get rid of it and Democrats want to keep it because they think it is the best chance at reforming healthcare and making it affordable and accessible to everyone. Though both parties do want reform they each want to approach it differently. Democrats want to preserve and protect the ACA since its full enactment 20 million Americans now have health insurance and the people who don’t have it has been cut in half. Almost all Democrats believe that quality healthcare should be a right to every American and they want the federal government to oversee, regulate, and administer the healthcare system. Democrats also oppose cuts to Medicaid, tax cuts for the wealthy, and any proposal that would limit access to health insurance on the private market. (Health Network) Most Democrats agree that the government should take over healthcare, but the extent has been undetermined because of disagreements. On the other side, Republicans believe that the private industry should administer health insurance as it has done in the past. People on this side believe that the ACA is a violation of American independence with its individual mandate and increased taxation to cover subsidies and most people would like to see a clean repeal of the ACA. This measure was an attempt by former President Obama to give affordable healthcare everyone, although a majority of Democrats supported the ACA, Obamacare gas not lived up to the hype, and even some Democrats believe that it hasn’t accomplished its full potential in the last 7 years.
Some of the problems were that many didn’t understand why the law required them to get the insurance or face a fine, some people didn’t understand the ACA and its four levels (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum), healthcare cost increased over the short term, the ACA raised taxes, and premiums are on the rise. (Health Network) Because of these things there is a chance that it will be repealed in the future, firstly, Congress should weigh which people are in the best positions to make a difficult decisions about economic tradeoff, rather than a one-size-fits-all mandate, employers and workers should work together to determine whether the coverage is worth the wage reduction. (The Heritage Foundation) A couple other things are that Congress should ensure that people who act responsibly should be protected from the high costs if they develop an expensive medical condition and lastly they should develop a better way to address the affordability of healthcare for people who have low income. Repealing and replacing the ACA may be coming in the future sooner than some expect, and Congress has promised to free the country from the Affordable Care Act and they are getting closer, but they must also ensure that they replace it with sensible reforms. (The Heritage Foundation) There are many good things about the Affordable Care Act and the more I read into it the more I found out that it is not perfect for everyone which I knew but I did not know the extent of it. However I do think that the ACA is a good thing for most people and that it should stay around, although I also think that a lot needs to be worked out with the Act to make it better for all Americans and that when it comes to fixing these things about the Act they need to be done effectively and gradually.
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