We look at how the Affordable Care Act has impacted a few different practices around the state and what this means for the medical industry as a whole.
With the health care policies being bandied about Capitol Hill, it can be a little overwhelming to try to get a sense of how new legislation on health is affecting the medical field as a whole. While decision-makers, diplomats, and policy writers debate on the merits of a more affordable insurance system or a more robust pathway to health care for most Americans, it can get a little challenging to pick apart what this means for the career landscape as a whole. Let’s take a look at how the Affordable Care Act and other health legislation is impacting the immediate medical office environment in New Jersey.
Newly Insured Patients Lead the Road to the Doctor’s Office
While Obama’s Affordable Care Act has certainly influenced the shape of the healthcare industry over the past year, it primarily assisted in ensuring that there were paths to acquire insurance for people who had lived without medical attention for so long. In an article on NJ.com, many medical offices report that the newly insured, or those who have lived without insurance for a long time, led the list of patients that were treated under policies that had arisen from changes in legislation. The reaction from the medical profession was one of delight, mitigated ever so slightly by how increasing demand is going to be met.
“The good news is that people do have insurance, so they are coming to see the doctor. I am seeing people who have not been to the doctor in a long time,” says Saradarian. “A lot of people don’t seem to understand that you (could come to a doctor without insurance).”
While other practices also saw increases, in some cases, they were not nearly as pronounced. In the same piece, the author speaks to another medical office who did see an uptick in the amount of patients seeking care, but a minimal one at best. However, they were planning on increased activity over the coming years, and were continuing to hire doctors and staff to accommodate.
For those working in the medical office, a big emphasis for these new patients will be a conversation surrounding expectations, and helping to mediate the process and procedure of dealing with an insurance agent, and what that means for health care costs. It seems likely that with more insured people seeking medical care for the first time in years, the amount of doctors to treat those patients will need to increase, but so too, will the support staff.