Many of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act will be phased in over the next year including an expansion of Medicaid and the creation of health exchanges that will allow previously uninsured patients to obtain health insurance. These provisions will have the effect of expanding the population eligible for healthcare coverage and allowing for greater choice on where patients seek care.
Some organizations, such as Academic Medical Centers, neighborhood health centers and public clinics, may face competition for patients that heretofore had little choice on where to seek care. Community hospitals and physician practices will now have increased access to a new insured population. A result of improved access to healthcare services will place a burden on many components of the healthcare sector that were already struggling to take care of their patients due to a primary care physician shortage and a lack of providers in certain specialties. At the same time, there may be increased competition for patients.
This will place increased strains on the healthcare delivery system, particularly in terms of creating access to new patient populations seeking care. Improving patient access, promoting more efficient operations and promoting patient satisfaction will be required to remain competitive. Neglecting these critical opportunities could result in a significant degradation of service and performance. It is incumbent upon every healthcare organization, and especially physician groups, to focus on these important areas in the months ahead.
By : Jeff Wasserman-Vice President of Strategy & Executive Leadership Services -Culbert Healthcare Solutions