Healthcare and Insurance: The Future

By Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT on April 14, 2013

The Affordable Care Act was created in order to help uninsured or underinsured people with regard to their health care insurance.

Nitin Chhoda discusses how the act is evolving from time to time and making the coverage adjacent to the healthcare that the average people need. However, health insurance has become more and more expensive.

healthcare and insuranceThe Affordable Care Act was designed to extend coverage to those who had none, right inequities in coverage and lower healthcare practice management costs across the board, along with improving the quality of care for all Americans.

Some of those goals are beginning to be realized, but the cost of healthcare and insurance continues to increase with no abatement in sight.

The ranks of the uninsured will continue to swell as workers lose their employer-based healthcare insurance through job loss and outsourcing.

Healthcare Insurance are Expensive

The Affordable Care Act penalizes employers that don’t offer a healthcare and insurance option to employees, but the fines are far less than the cost of providing healthcare policies.

A growing number of business owners are choosing to pay a penalty that’s a fraction of what a single healthcare insurance policy would cost. The current state of healthcare reform establishes a system where costs for healthcare insurance continue to increase and benefits decrease.

The Affordable Care Act, created to extend healthcare and insurance to the majority of citizens, still leaves millions of individuals uninsured. It further penalizes individuals for their financial inability to purchase insurance, as well as those who have “high-end” policies.

Taxes on high end insurance programs beginning in 2018 encourages people to select less costly healthcare and insurance plans where they shoulder more of the financial burden with higher premiums, co-pays and deductibles.

To avoid penalties and skyrocketing costs, individuals will choose the most inexpensive policies available and delay seeking medical attention when they can’t afford out-of-pocket expenses.

Part of the provisions in The Affordable Care Act provides programs to encourage clinicians to eliminate waste, improve care and safety for patients, and reduce expensive testing and procedures.

The “less is more” mentality brings the quality of care into question as healthcare and insurance providers attempt to meet the demand of millions of new patients flooding into the system.

The Effect

Therapists and other healthcare and insurance providers are being backed into a corner with the untenable position of sacrificing allotted time with patients in a system where clients have extensive waits for appointments.

Clinicians could be forced to pick and choose patients based on their insurance coverage or ability to self-pay, simply to keep their clinics solvent and continue to practice their profession.

In an effort by insurance companies to reduce their costs, homeopathic solutions could easily become the treatments of choice. Healthcare providers face increasing pressure by insurance companies to eschew a wide variety of tests and provide more extensive documentation to justify their decisions.

healthcare and insurance futureTherapists are effectively being second-guessed by those in organizations that have little or no medical experience, and no idea of the practicalities of a physical therapy clinic.

The Affordable Care Act provides for an array of essential services that new healthcare and insurance policies must provide, but consumers will ultimately pay the price for that coverage through increased out-of-pocket expenses.

Physical therapists will feel the effects through reduced reimbursements, a potential loss of patients, and increased collection costs.

The Future

In a perfect world, access to affordable healthcare would be available to all, insurance companies would forego record-breaking profits in favor of the common good, and clinicians would be free to treat patients as their profession calls them to do.

The future of affordable healthcare and insurance, benefits without penalties, and accessible treatment for all is in jeopardy. As currently written, all avenues lead back to many of the same problems that the Affordable Care Act was created to fix.

About Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT

Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT is the CEO of In Touch EMR and In Touch Biller Pro, an electronic medical records and medical billing software system built be leaders in the physical therapy software industry, with thousands of satisfied customers across the world. For more information, please visit www.InTouchEmr.com and www.InTouchBillerPro.com

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