The skyrocketing cost of healthcare was one of the motivating forces behind the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act. Known as Obamacare, one of the legislation’s goals is to reduce costs and it attempts to do that with a multi-faceted approach that seeks to reduce overutilization of healthcare services.
Supporters of Obamacare claim that healthcare costs have soared due to demanding patients requesting unnecessary tests and clinicians that are prolonging patient treatments.
Obamacare assumes that patients are overindulging in expensive treatments, tests and medications, and attempts to address that through limiting the use of services deemed as too costly.
Luxury Services And Care
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel was a primary advisor and architect of Obamacare. He called for scaling back on what he viewed as luxury services, conveniences and self-indulgent excess to curb costs.
He included comfortable waiting rooms, convenient parking and access, and the privacy of examination rooms as needless amenities that would reduce costs.
To curb costs, elderly patients will receive many services at home instead of being admitted to hospitals or making multiple visits to their physician.
Technology will be used to monitor, track and transmit patient data to healthcare providers.
The Obamacare model relies more on lower paid support staff and less on clinicians.
Less Is More
Obamacare addresses cost reduction through paying less to providers and bundling services that were previously billed separately.
It rewards clinicians who get patients better faster and prevent hospitalizations.
Obamacare rewards physicians who increase efficiency and productivity within their practice to accelerate the number of patients treated.
The legislation calls for patients to be responsible for a greater financial amount of their care through increased co-pays, deductibles and premiums; restricting tests to only those that are absolutely essential and utilizing low-cost tests whenever possible; and bringing prescription costs more in line with those of other countries.
Prevention And Patient Accountability
Consumers are tasked with improving their health and working to prevent disease and healthcare problems before they arise.
Obamacare encourages employers and insurance companies to promote improved health with incentive programs that reward individuals who meet specified guidelines.
The software improves efficiency, productivity and reimbursements.
The current trend in healthcare is toward prevention, getting patients better quicker, and doing it with the least amount of testing and medication, all of which will be instrumental in changing the way healthcare is delivered.