Local professionals talk Affordable Care

In your opinion, how has the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affected the inner-workings of your hospital, practice, or organization to-date?

“It’s made a big difference, especially in primary care. Now people want to come in for a physical. I think primary care will play a bigger role. Specialists will probably decrease. Now we’ll be treating blood pressure before they have the stroke.”

“I think in some ways the Affordable Care Act gives us an impetus to do a good job. We will get paid better. That’s the American way. It will also give us some tools to make that happen. People will have insurance so they can go get that medication.

“We’re also going to see a lot of innovation. We, at Clark & Daughtrey, have hours after 5 o’clock to try to provide services for people after they get off work. We came up with a new app and it’s free. It actually allows our patients to monitor their blood pressure and blood sugar and send it to us. We can fix it now, rather than having them come back in three or six months.”

“It is about getting everybody insurance, but it also is very much geared at trying to provide better overall care for patients. I do also think we’re going to see more consolidation. The sole practitioner is going to have to provide something that the bigger organizations aren’t providing. With the Affordable Care Act, the routine preventive things are free. That’s a big deal.”

Dr. Mary Quillinan
Internal Medicine Practitioner
Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group, a Division of Lakeland Regional Health Systems
Lakeland, Florida

“Public health has long held that prevention of disease is more cost effective than the treatment of disease, hence our support of healthy lifestyles and healthy choices. Title IV of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Prevention of Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health, supports programs that have historically been important to the public health community. Title IV also provides for the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), which supports funding for state and local prevention efforts as well as prevention research. In addition, the PPHF funds community efforts to address chronic diseases and promotes public education campaigns as well as nutritional labeling. These efforts can support public health’s drive to support healthy lifestyles, promote a healthier weight, and prevent chronic diseases.”

Dr. Ulyee Choe
Director, Florida Department of Health in Polk County
Bartow, Florida

“Since the roll-out of the ACA we have not noticed any lessening of referrals, thus the impact locally for the low-income, uninsured seeking specialty healthcare seems minimal. The provision of the ACA that expands Medicaid would surely reduce those needing our services if it is ever accepted by the State.”

“What we are doing, though, is working with the only local hospital that offers us services, which is Winter Haven Hospital, to have our clients meet with their on-site ACA Navigator to try and find affordable insurance for these patients. Whether they are able to become insured or not, WHH will still accept them for service but will hopefully get reimbursed for those services. This is an effort in accordance with the requirement of 501(c)(3) hospital organizations to conduct a community health needs assessment (CHNA).”

Rick Renardson
Executive Director, We Care of Polk County, Inc.
Lakeland, Florida

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