Effects of New Consumer Benefits on Healthcare
Whether a person is for it, or against it, my guess is they have at least recently heard of it, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Since its passing in 2010 and recent implementation in January 2014 it has drawn strong opinion both in congress and in the general public. Obamacare as it is commonly known is a dramatic attempt at sweeping healthcare reform. With its passing, the law has implemented several changes to privately funded insurance, lending itself to new consumer protections. Carey (2014) clarifies some of these new consumer provisions along with a brief layout of how the law might affect the ordinary citizen. With the implementation of the PPACA comes a period of uncertainty, organizations will rely more than ever on healthcare administrators. Healthcare Administration, in the future, is tasked with treating an increased patient volume with increased quality of care, all the while, keeping organizations fiscally sustainable while bracing for probable decreases in reimbursement.
Since January 2014 most of the consumer protections awarded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are now in place. No longer can we as consumers be denied insurance coverage as a result of a preexisting condition. Insurers are now required to provide coverage for anyone with preexisting conditions and cannot use these conditions to charge higher premiums.
Upon the laws implementation in 2010 no longer can insurance companies impose lifetime limits on essential health benefits. Essential benefits are defined as items and services that must be covered in consumer policies, including but not limited to hospitalization and prescription drug coverage (Carey, 2014).
Extension of youth coverage exists under the new law, children regardless of their situation can now stay covered up to age 26 by their parents plans.
In an attempt at curtailing expenditures on chronic medications or expensive surgical procedures, the ACA promotes early detection and wellness initiatives in the form of Preventive Health Services. Policy holders can receive immunizations, screening tests, counseling and a myriad of other preventative procedures all without the requirement of co-payments.
As result of the new provisions afforded under the ACA now more than ever our industry needs a large pool of qualified administrators to navigate the current situation and shape the future of healthcare organizations (Mullikin, 2011). Traditionally these roles were always filled by physicians or long tenured members of a company. Only recently has there been the realization that radical changes in the landscape of healthcare are forcing companies to look for administrators whose entire background is grounded in the business of healthcare.
Pro. Just as there is no consensus as to whether the recent attempt at health reform will be a success or failure, much debate both pro and con still abounds...