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.
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
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.