Photo by Pleasure Simmons
Health Care Forums: An Overview
I have provided an overview of each of the three UHCAN Affordable Care Act health care forums. Here is the summary of the first one, the second one, and last week we posted the summary of the last. I wanted to give a brief overview of all three together.
At the end of three highly detailed healthcare reform forums, I can say I am both more informed and confused about the coming changes. All forums seem to stress that there is potential for positive change, but that there are many obstacles to success, the largest one being that this is all a new system to the majority of patients and providers. Other concerns are: how consumers will fair purchasing their own insurance on the “exchange”; how providers will coordinating care in an equitable manner; and will there be an increase in primary care providers? We shall see how these all play out. More importantly will the increase in insured persons demand for services by 2014 when the Affordable Care Act is to be fully implemented be met with higher quality care or will overwhelmed care providers have to increase an already heavy work load? The coordination of care will likely be ineffective if there is not an increase in the work force to back it up. Dr. Richard Christi who spoke at the last forum voiced concerns about needing at least ten years to increase primary care providers due to the length of educational requirement.
Will the exchange be user friendly and if health insurance consumers are largely uniformed about the cost of medical services will individuals and businesses be able to appropriately purchase health care on the exchange? There are of courses great positives and no one at any of the three forums ever suggested that the changes in the United States healthcare system were not needed. Certainly more people being covered should in theory increase the health of Americans and reduce the crushing debt many incur due to medical bills. Increasing coordination and ease of services is beneficial to the consumer. However, change is coming and it is clear that participation in the delivery of care is going to require great effort from providers and patients to utilize the advantages and minimize the areas of concerns.
by Holly Lyon
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