One of the areas that many individuals, organizations and political parties fail to recognize is that for years, Emergency Departments have not got their bills paid and the hospitals have had to bear the brunt of unpaid bills and patients fear getting sick or making that trip to Emergency or the doctor. Will the Affordable Care Act solve this dilemma and will the opening of the new Health Insurance Exchanges (not to be confused with the Healthcare Information Exchange) be a turning point for many to be able to get preventative and emergency care covered? This was the hope. While the bill is not perfect and I know that many in the country, who don’t know the details of the ACA think it was a bad idea, I felt it was at least a start to thinking about healthcare in a different way. Many times, I have mentioned in my writing that we needed to think differently and I believe this is the first step towards that. While entitlements are not the answer, something obviously needed to get done to solve our health problems in the United States.
On a recent trip to Hong Kong, I got to understand how far behind we were in terms of change. In talking to a friend of mine who was a doctor there, they thought that the U.S. had an interoperable electronic health record capability for decades and that when they implemented theirs in the early part of the 21st century, that they were following us. It came to her as quite a surprise that we were actually following them.
I would buy stock in for profit healthcare providers if I were you…this might be the start to better financial results for them.