Health insurance plays a key role in how physicians get paid for their services. Most medical practices have an insurance verification specialist check out patients’ coverage before the office visit. This provides a clear picture about what the insurance company will pay and patients’ financial responsibilities. But now, physicians are worried about how the plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will affect their ability to provide treatment as well as their income.
Under the ACA introduced by former U.S. President Barack Obama, individual health insurance plans assured coverage regardless of the individual’s preexisting conditions or health problems. With the new U.S. Republican Government pressing for the scrapping of the Affordable Care Act, recent reports indicate that physicians and hospitals are very concerned about how healthcare will be delivered and funded.
According to a Hartford Courant report, the Connecticut Hospital Association said that if the law is repealed and the cuts to Medicare continue, hospitals’ fiscal stability and sustainability, as well as patient access to care, will be significantly compromised. If patients lose coverage, it will be more difficult for physicians to continue providing care. If people with chronic issues lose coverage or do not get regular treatment, their diseases can become both risky and expensive. This is the most important concern among physicians.
Forbes reports that a recent poll of 426 physicians by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that the majority do not favor Obamacare repeal. The survey found that:
- Only 15% of the physicians who responded want Obamacare repealed
- 95% of the physicians support the ACA’s requirement that health coverage cannot be denied to an individual who has a pre-existing condition
- 38% who voted for Trump and 32% who supported the Republican party support the repeal
- 91% support tax credits offered to small businesses that assist in offering insurance to employees
- 88% back the ACA’s provision that allows young adults up to the age of 26 to remain on their family’s insurance plan
- 75% of physicians support subsidies offered to individuals to make health insurance more affordable
- 73% expressed support for expanding Medicaid for those who earn up to 138% of the US poverty level
- Only 50% of physicians support the ACA’s individual mandate that requires individuals to pay a fine if they do not have insurance
Meanwhile, open Enrollment in 2017 is still on and GOP leaders in Congress are delaying plans to repeal the ACA till they can come up with a practical alternative.
Regardless of the outcome of these developments, reliable medical billing companies will continue to support physicians in their efforts to maintain financial stability while providing quality care.