How will The Affordable Care Act affect me?
That is a good question; one which the health care industry itself is still asking. January 2014 is quickly approaching and we are still trying to put together our game plan. I will continue to update on the new Affordable Care Act as it rolls out, but here's what we know for sure:
~at least 30 million people will be rolled into an already jammed system.
~1/2 of primary care practices are already closed to new patients due to heavy patient loads.
~With more patients in fluxing an overloaded system, appointment wait times will increase and actual patient appointment time with physicians is bound to decrease.
~It takes an average of 10 years to educate new physicians. There is already a shortage of primary care physicians. Even with heavy recruiting, new physicians could not help filter off some of the load until 2024.
~Medicare is able to pay only about 20% of patient costs to physicians and is facing further cuts. Three times more doctors are refusing to sign on Medicare patients than three years ago.
~Some physicians are already asking for an "upfront" annual free which ensures the patient remains on the physician's patient list. This offsets the costs of Medicare and offers the physician a bit longer appointment with his current patients. He no longer has to rush though a 7 minute appointment throughout the day to make sure he stays in the black.
~With fewer physicians accepting Medicare and fewer physicians specializing in geriatrics, the elderly population is at a higher risk.
Above are just a few of the changes that are sure to be coming down the pike in January. Nurse Concierge, LLC will keep you apprised as more becomes available.
It is very wise to take a devoted friend or family member to your health care visits to help both yourself and the physician stay on task. If you need help, please let Nurse Concierge join you on your appointments and help you get the most out of your health care.