Does Obamacare Promote “Independence at Home” Over Physical Therapy?

Does Obamacare Promote “Independence at Home” Over Physical Therapy?

Many physical therapists are concerned that Obamacare promotes its Independence at Home initiative over physical therapy and the answer at this point is yes.

ObamacareThe Independence at Home program uses technology at home (known as e-care) or community centers to identify problems and provide services to save money.

It’s difficult enough to persuade patients they need to visit their clinician’s office, especially the elderly and those with disabilities.

Obamacare’s program could make patients even more reluctant to leave their homes.

When patients can receive services at the local community center, they aren’t going to travel the extra distance to obtain the same treatments at their therapist.

Taking Healthcare To The Patients

The initiative is a new opportunity for clinicians to help patients through providing in-home physical therapy. Patients are less likely to attend sessions at a nearby community center or outpatient facility if the therapist is able to come to them.

The disabled, veterans and seniors will benefit most from in-home services and it provides the means for therapists to use Obamacare to their financial advantage.

Utilizing ACOs To Maximize Returns

One way clinicians can benefit is through becoming part of an accountable care organization (ACO). An ACO is a team of healthcare providers from different specialties that work together to manage patient care.

Obamacare rewards team members financially for good home care management that keeps patients out of hospitals and nursing homes, gets them better quickly, and saves money.

The Return of House Calls with Portable Technology

Many elderly patients have lamented the loss of an era when physicians and nurses made house calls, eliminating the need for them to leave their home.

Obamacare marks a return of those services through the Independence at Home program and with the assistance of the In Touch EMR, therapists can take their services on the road.

The software offers the ability to document patient encounters and treatment with tablet technology anywhere an Internet connection is available.

In Touch Biller PRO can be integrated with EMR technology to create and send reimbursement claims on the go. Both software systems provide practitioners with a new delivery method to increase revenues.

E-Care To Save Money

At-home monitoring is encouraged and it’s the direction in which healthcare is going under Obamacare.

ObamacareClinicians can monitor a number of chronic conditions and symptoms, ranging from blood pressure and heart rates to glucose levels.

Some monitoring devices use the Internet and EMR technology to automatically send data to the practitioner.

Other methods require an actual person to document information collected by a machine.

The Independence at Home initiative in Obamacare promotes therapy in the home or at community centers as a means of reducing overall healthcare expenses.

Therapists will be hit especially hard unless they find ways to utilize Obamacare for themselves. In-home services and ACOs offer clinicians with diversification options, but only if they’re willing to change and expand the way they treat patients.


Will Obamacare Make America Healthier?

Will Obamacare Make America Healthier?

Obamacare is definitely trying to create a population of healthier people, especially in the workforce.

It does so through free, government approved services and employer-based incentive programs with an emphasis on prevention, since it’s much cheaper to prevent than cure.

ObamacareFree Services For The Asking

Patients will now have access to a variety of guaranteed preventative services at no cost to themselves.

Services are free, even if they haven’t met their insurance deductible, and when the services are delivered by providers in their healthcare network.

Guaranteed services include screenings and counseling for conditions ranging from alcohol and domestic abuse to colon cancer and diabetes.

Patients will have access to screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and colon cancer, along with depression, heart disease and breast cancer.

Counseling will be provided on diet and nutrition, depression and tobacco use, along with HIV/AIDS and STDs.

Vaccines are an important part of Obamacare’s plan to prevent the spread of disease and prevent potential pandemics. Vaccinations can be obtained for chicken pox, flu and pneumonia, along with tetanus, whooping cough and hepatitis.

Children are eligible for screenings to detect autism and developmental problems, along with hearing, vision and lead-related health issues.

Youngsters can receive fluoride and iron supplements, though the final list of free services hasn’t been finalized yet.

Employers, Incentives And Penalties

Obamacare encourages employers to offer workers incentive programs to get healthy and stay that way.

Incentives can take the form of cash and discounts on insurance premiums.

Employers can also choose to make contributions to flexible spending accounts that patients can use to pay for specified medical-related expenses.

Employers who provide workers with insurance must now offer a core group of benefits in those policies.

It represents a considerable cost to businesses and Obamacare legally allows employers to charge their staff penalties for not being healthy.

Penalties can be assessed in the form of higher insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles for transgressions that include smoking, weight gain, high cholesterol levels and not getting enough exercise.

Employees can be charged up to 50 percent higher premiums than healthier coworkers.

A Golden Opportunity

This is a huge opportunity for therapists to create programs that focus on prevention and maintenance.Obamacare

With the assistance of the In Touch EMR and In Touch Biller PRO, corporate wellness programs are easy to administer and reimbursements are obtained quickly.

The systems enable clinicians to work with the greatest number of people to increase revenues.

Obamacare focuses on negative reinforcement to improve patient health and disciplines transgressors with higher insurance costs.

There’s debate about the effectiveness or fairness of the approach, but the benefits and penalties of Obamacare are a fact and it’s essential that clinicians find ways to work within the law to treat patients and increase revenues.


How Obamacare Attempts to Tackle Overutilization

How Obamacare Attempts to Tackle Overutilization

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.

ObamacareToo Much Care

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.

In the Obamacare economy, clinicians will need to focus on outcomes and be able to prove it with tools like those in the In Touch EMR and In Touch Biller PRO.

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.


Obamacare 101: The Impact on Your Patients

Obamacare 101: The Impact on Your Patients

Obamacare means major changes for virtually every segment of the population and clinicians will need to educate their patients about those changes and how it will impact them on a personal level. The healthcare climate will also affect practitioners and how they deliver healthcare services.

ObamacareTo keep up with changes in Obamacare, remain compliant and receive timely reimbursements, it’s essential to have the right software tools.

In Touch EMR offers a complete system that grows with practices. In Touch Biller PRO can be fully integrated with EMR technology.

Together, the systems make practices more efficient, help educate patients and obtain payments quickly.

Upcoming Changes

For many, Obamacare means healthcare coverage for the very first time through the Health Insurance Marketplace and the expansion of Medicaid, for others it will mean no change at all.

Parents can now keep their adult children on their policies until the age of 26 and no one with a pre-existing condition can be turned down for insurance.

A $63 fee will be levied on all policies to help pay for high-risk patients.

Most individuals with employer-based insurance won’t have to purchase coverage through the Marketplace. If their cost is more than 9.5 percent of their annual income, they can apply for coverage in the Marketplace.

Marketplace insurance plans don’t automatically extend coverage to spouses. Employer-based plans typically offer spousal coverage, but companies are not obligated to do so.

Employee spouses may have to purchase personal coverage through the Marketplace or their own workplace.

Married couples may have to purchase coverage independent of the other through the Marketplace.

Medicare recipients will still be able to choose their own physician and Obamacare closes the donut hole, allowing seniors to pay less for prescriptions.

Seniors with high medical costs will be able to receive in-home care. Seniors with annual incomes of $200,000 or more will see an increase of .9 percent in Medicare payroll taxes.

Penalty Fees

The individual mandate tax (IMT) fines anyone without healthcare insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, though there are a few exemptions. Beginning in 2014 the IMT is $95 on adults and $47.50 for children.

The tax increases each year to a maximum of $695 for adults in 2016 and $397.50 for children.

After that, the fee is adjusted each year for inflation.

Buying Marketplace Insurance

A bronze, silver, gold or platinum policy can be purchased on the Marketplace. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the average price for a policy on the Marketplace will be about $328 per month.

Consumers can also purchase what’s known as a catastrophic policy for around $129 per month. The actual cost will depend on the level of coverage purchased and the geographic location of the buyer.

Federal subsidies are available to help individuals purchase Marketplace insurance coverage.

Subsidy amounts will depend on household income, family size and geographic location.

Core ServicesObamacare

Under Obamacare, each consumer is entitled to a core group of services ranging from hospitalization to prescription coverage.

The emphasis is on preventative services and those will be offered free, with no co-pays from patients.

Consumers can receive free cancer screenings and vaccinations, along with consultations on nutrition, diabetes, and HIV and STDs.

Obamacare will affect patient coverage, how insurance is purchased and used, and the way clinicians dispense healthcare services in the U.S.

The exact impact remains to be seen, but it’s imperative that practitioners educate patients about their options and how their decisions will affect their coverage and finances.

How Obamacare Increases Patient Responsibility

How Obamacare Increases Patient Responsibility

The focus of Obamacare is on prevention rather than the cure to reduce the cost of treatment. To accomplish, this, the Affordable Health Care Act makes patient more responsible for their own healthcare through better decision making, more exercise and purchasing healthier foods.

ObamacareIn the Obamacare economy, clinicians must spend more time educating patients and trying to modify their behavior.

The In Touch EMR provides an essential tool for working toward that goal.

Combined with the In Touch Biller PRO software, practitioners have a full complement of tools for successfully pursuing all the goals of the nation’s healthcare law and obtaining quick reimbursements for the services they provide.

Improving Access

As part of developing a nation of healthier individuals, Obamacare has established the Healthcare Insurance Exchange, providing patients with access to affordable healthcare coverage.

Eligibility requirements have been increased so more low income families can obtain Medicaid.

Obamacare ensures compliance by assessing a penalty through the Individual Tax Mandate for not having insurance.

Prevention Is The Cure

There’s a little known initiative within Obamacare that provides a variety of free screenings, tests and consultations that doesn’t require a co-pay from patients.

The Natural Prevention Health Promotion and Public Health Council will aid people in obtaining no-cost access to services, study the impact on strategies and create a list of things to do in the future.

While the list of services has not been finalized, it may include certain things like cancer screenings, stop smoking medications, depression, diabetes, HIV and even birth control.

The strategy is for patients to be more responsible for their health by doing things that will keep them healthy and avoid costly treatment later on.


There is a genetic component that makes people predisposed toward some diseases and health problems, but it’s unknown how this will factor into the program.

Prevention And Education

To work within the Obamacare economy, clinicians must spend more time on prevention, education and inducing patients to make healthier choices.

Obamacare seeks to increase the health of Americans at every stage of their life.

By making free tests, assessments, screenings and consultations available, the authors of Obamacare hope to create a nation of healthier people that require less treatment for a variety of diseases, thereby reducing the cost of healthcare.

Only time will tell if the Obamacare legislation will have a significant impact on changing the way people think and behave.

The History of Healthcare Insurance in America and the Launch of the Obamacare Economy Workshop Series

The History of Healthcare Insurance in America and the Launch of the Obamacare Economy Workshop Series

Healthcare is evolving in the Obamacare economy and clinicians must think and plan ahead to maintain and grow their practices.

To help practitioners thrive in the Obamacare economy, In Touch EMR founder, Nitin Chhoda, and Sherry Marchand, compliance, billing and coding specialist, will be offering The Obamacare Economy Workshop Series over the next 12 months.

ObamacareThe Affordable Health Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The law covers more than 2,500 pages and is the biggest change in healthcare in more than 150 years.

To fully appreciate the outcomes of Obamacare, it’s important to look at the history of healthcare in the U.S.

The Rise Of Health Insurance Systems

Canada, the UK and other countries have a system of socialized medicine.

In the U.S., it’s a combination of government subsidized care that includes Medicare and Medicaid, employer-based coverage, and direct sales in which people purchase their own insurance.

Prior to World War II, healthcare insurance was a commodity that people bought for a rainy day. It wasn’t even considered a necessity. Diseases like diabetes weren’t even factors in healthcare.

Over time, employers began offering healthcare to attract employees.

The self-employed and others wanted a similar option and private healthcare insurance came to be.

The government got involved with healthcare programs to address the needs of the elderly and disabled.

The first healthcare plan bill was proposed in 1854 for the insane. President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted healthcare as part of the Medicare program in 1933.

President Lyndon B. Johnson oversaw the passage of Medicaid in 1964, but it took almost 17 years for a majority of the states to come on board.

President Jimmy Carter and President Bill Clinton tried to overhaul the system but failed.

Benefits And Repercussions

Obamacare has a number of benefits. It makes Medicaid more accessible for low-income families, makes Medicare better in some ways, and created a group of core services that healthcare plans must include.

It also makes patients more responsible for their coverage and managing their health.

Obamacare was designed to fix a broken system and it’s now the law. It was a major leap and the legislation will mean significant changes for clinicians.

Practitioners need to know what impact it will have on patients, physicians surrounding them, and their own private practice.

Clinicians must decide if they’ll focus on prevention or maintenance.

ObamacareThe Obamacare Economy Workshop Series will help clinicians maintain profitability, sustain their operations and grow their practice. Physicians don’t have to go into survival mode.

Systems and people are the backbone of a practice and clinicians must be more efficient in everything they do, from scheduling to billing.

Every physician must plan ahead to optimize the patient experience – the government is watching everything clinicians do.

The Obamacare Economy Workshop Series of webinars and CDs is designed to help practitioners revolutionize their practice in an evolving healthcare environment.

Obamacare threatens the fabric of private practice and will dramatically alter the income of clinicians who aren’t prepared. The Obamacare Economy program teaches physicians how to increase referrals, become more efficient and actually grow their practice despite the current state of healthcare.