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Without Obamacare 18.1 million would be Uninsured

by Orlando Sola, MD, MPH in Access to Care

Health care reform under President Obama aimed to decrease the number of uninsured in the United States via passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Though the political [...]

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Quality of Care

Continuity of Care

Health care costs

  • Source: Eric Schmuttenmaer (Flickr/CC)

    Disparities due to Pre-existing Conditions

    Despite attempts to improve access to care via the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, disparities in health outcomes continue to persist. This study examines some of the causes of racial disparities between blacks and whites; it further attempts to understand and isolate the individual effects of pre-operative risk factors. Selected subjects were black Medicare patients who underwent general surgery procedures and were matched with white controls within 6 states and within 838 [...]
  • Source: Kaiser Family Foundation (CC)

    “I’m from the Government & I’m here to help”

    Despite fears of failing Marketplaces, death spirals, and a recent threat by UnitedHealth to withdraw from the Marketplaces altogether, researchers find that insurer participation and Marketplace offerings increased between 2014 and 2015. The data also show that each additional insurer brings healthy competition to the Marketplaces which ultimately reduces premiums by 2% as insurers jockey to offer the lowest-priced plan. Insurers need to be encouraged to join the Marketplaces but the positive [...]
  • Source: Christopher Cornelius (Flickr/CC)

    Retail Clinics: a Supplement not a Substitute for Traditional Health Care Choices

    In recent years,  patients have been increasingly demanding access to outpatient care. Retail clinics aim to supply this demand by providing a cost effective and convenient solution. First opening in 2000, retail clinics have expanded exponentially and accounted for 10.5 million visits in 2012.  Retail clinics provide a venue of care for those that do not have any other usual source of care, whether they have insurance or not. Source: Christopher Cornelius (Flickr/CC) A recent article in [...]
  • Source: Healthcare.gov

    Obamacare: Cheaper and Better than Health Insurance pre-ACA

    Despite scary media headlines about rising health insurance costs due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this study found that 3 in 4 self-employed adults ages 18-64 paid less after-tax on the ACA Marketplaces in 2014 than they paid in 2012. Source: Healthcare.gov Before the ACA, people who did not have insurance through their employers had to buy individual policies. These individual or “non-group” policies were usually more expensive because risks were not shared among a large group. The [...]
  • Source: Jeff Kubina (Flickr/CC)

    Will direct primary care bring joy back to medicine

    More than half of physicians report at least one symptom of burnout. This is much higher than in the general population. Source: Jeff Kubina (Flickr/CC) The major factors of physician satisfaction involve perceived obstacles to providing high-quality care such as unsupportive practice leadership or insurers refusing to cover medically necessary services. In particular, primary care physicians are frustrated when regulatory demands limit the time they can spend with each patient. It would take [...]
  • Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

    The Private Option is as Good as Traditional Medicaid

    Recently, a group of physicians renewed their call for a single-payer system to replace the current hodgepodge of programs comprising the United States healthcare “system.” While political discourse among the Democratic presidential candidates continues to debate Medicare-for-All, the political realities in Washington D.C will make achieving such a system nothing more than a dream regardless of who wins the White House. Thus the question arises, what to do in the meantime? If the Affordable [...]
  • Source: Families USA (All Rights Reserved)

    Decreasing Disparities in Health Coverage

    Implemented in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s major coverage expansion was designed to improve the accessibility and affordability of health insurance. Although the ACA’s coverage expansion should decrease disparities in health care coverage among racial and ethnic minorities, both immigration status and an individual’s state of residency have proved to be the greatest hindrance to reducing disparities. Specifically, undocumented immigrants and individuals living in states where [...]
  • Source: CDC

    ER visits unchanged after ACA

    The Affordable Care Act was supposed to expand coverage to the uninsured and many politicians claimed this would result in lower use of “expensive emergency rooms” for treatment of patients’ acute complaints. This presumption runs counter to several facts. First, that only one-fifth of patients visit the ER due to problems such as their doctor’s office being closed or lack of other providers. The vast majority goes to the ER because they (or any other prudent layperson) think they are [...]
  • Source: Pixabay (CC)

    Medical Prices are all Over the Map

    For people with private insurance, the same health services cost thousands of dollars more in different states across the nation, different cities within the same state, and even in different parts of a single city. Source: Pixabay (CC) A knee replacement, including the doctor’s visit before and after surgery, the surgery itself, and physical therapy to recover from the surgery, costs $46,895 in South Carolina but only $24,121 in New Jersey. Similarly, cataract surgery costs $8,182 in Alaska [...]
  • Source: Kevin Schraer (Flickr/CC)

    Docs Earn More with ACA, if State Participates

    The Affordable Care Act is paying doctors more through Medicaid expansion. Payments to physicians for hospital stays increased by $3.38 (4.2%) per day. About half of the higher payments were due to better payer mix. This means that uninsured patients stayed for 66% fewer hospital days in 2014 than 2013; these patient-days were replaced with insured patients (mostly Medicaid). The other half of the physician payment boost came from all types of insurers paying more for services in 2014, which [...]

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