November 21, 2019

Impact education on what services and resources are available.

Impact of the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act

            While
many articles address “the impact of the ACA on disparities and particular
at-risk populations, or on potential issues in states that have failed to
expand Medicaid,” (Atkinson & Giovanis, 2015), this article provides a
broad perspective of the Patient Protection and affordable Care Act (ACA), its
implementation, and its results.

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            Since
the enactment of the ACA, the homeless population has taken greater advantage of
hospital and emergency services, “particularly those with mental illness and
substance abuse disorders,” (Atkinson & Giovanis, 2015). Although the use of
healthcare services has increased, analysis of mortality rates of cancer
patients continue to worsen in states which have expanded Medicaid coverage. (Atkinson
& Giovanis, 2015). Should this trend continue, it is reasonably foreseeable
that more severe medical problems are likely to arise and demand for medical
services will increase.

Although the utilization
of heath care services has increased, there is also a growing need for public
education on what services and resources are available. For instance, while
contraceptive services are a controversial component of the ACA, there is a
need for additional public education to women and their coverage for
contraceptive related services. The general public has a growing need for
education on available federal subsidies and the eligibility requirements for
such subsidies. Additionally, research suggests there is a need for more
outreach to the age group of 26-year-olds who lost eligibility through a parent
once that reached that age.

In regards to tobacco
use, insurers are permitted to add surcharges to the insurance premiums of
smokers. Although it may appear reasonable for smokers to pay higher premiums
for their choice to smoke, this policy could result in tobacco users from
purchasing health insurance.

While implementation of
the ACA resulted in substantial shifting between different health insurance
types and providers, there is sufficient overlap between networks that
disruptions would not be major. Although changes through enactment of the ACA
have improved access to healthcare services many problems still remain.

Performance
Improvement in Health Care

              The
ACA is a tool for the federal government to advance healthcare system
performance. In the effort to provide affordable, quality healthcare, “the
commission believes government leadership for performance improvement requires
clear goals, beginning with concrete cost-containment and quality-improving
targets,” (Blumenthal, 2012), which will result in reducing national healthcare
spending. The guiding vision of the ACA should also bear in mind that
performance improvement requires better healthcare decisions by providing
necessary information when and where needed to make it easier to obtain
coverage and provide healthcare services.

            The
federal government should establish conditions which will improve healthcare
services, reduce costs, and provide the public education necessary to improve
performance. Tools the federal government should use |include “improved primary
care, payment reform, and better information,” (Blumenthal, 2012).

The
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Suggestions for Improvements

            Although
the ACA “achieved its major goals of expanding enrollment and, thus, reducing
the number of people without health insurance, particularly for individuals
with existing health problems,” (Atkinson & Giovanis, 2015), the issue of
affordability of health insurance still exists and policy choices have been
reduced to limited providers with high deductibles.

            In
regards to the ACA having affordability issues, some believe this is in part
due to major reductions in structural reforms focusing on accountable care
organizations (ACOs) and population-based health. Because advancement in
technology generally is expensive and does not increase productivity, research
suggests productivity improvements projected for providers are not achievable
in a labor-intensive industry such as healthcare. Additionally, ACOs are not as
successful as the engineers of the ACA had hoped, rather ACOs are reducing the number
of providers which will likely result in decreased supply and increased demand,
thus, increased prices. In fact, efficient level provider networks “have little
opportunity to gain and are dropping out as ACOs,” (Atkinson & Giovanis,
2015).

            Although
ACOs will likely have little success, ACOs efforts will likely have little
impact on healthcare cost. A basic problem of the ACA is that physicians
largely remain under a fee-for-service structure which set rates based on “fees
determined by interested parties who have successfully fended off all attempts
to change the incentives away from overpaying for specialty services and
underpaying for primary and preventable care,” (Atkinson & Giovanis, 2015).
Although the ACA achieved its goal of increasing enrollment, the ACA still has
many issues such as the need for improved education, high deductibles, and limited
providers.

Conclusion

            The three articles above discuss the
ACA’s goal of expanding enrollment and coverage of reduced healthcare costs and
quality healthcare services. While the three articles agree in regards to the
ACA’s goals and that the ACA has benefited the healthcare industry by
increasing coverage, two of the articles discuss further regarding the
weaknesses of the ACA. Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
and The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Suggestions for
Improvements both suggest that the ACA has a growing need for public education
in the health services available and the eligibility requirements of such
services. Additionally, both articles also discuss that the ACA continues to
face the issue of affordability and high deductibles. These two articles
discuss further regarding the ACA and both agree that while the ACA has
successfully reached its goals of expansion, the ACA continues to face many
issues which need to be addressed.

 

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