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Fallout from the ACA has been shocking to many medical practices who really didn't see what was coming. What you can do about it today.
You know that feeling you get when you realize, “We're not in Kansas anymore?” That's a realization I've come to about healthcare over the past few months. The insurance climate has changed. Tremendously, violently, and in a very short period of time.
This tells me several things worth noting:
• Change that is brought on quickly and without regard can destroy a climate. This includes the healthcare industry.
• The rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was about as half-baked as a Microsoft product. You know how Windows always prompts you to send a debug report back to Microsoft? All of this fallout and feedback is the patients and physicians way of telling the politicians who signed this poorly created act, that it's non-functional.
• Insurance companies are not prepared in the least to handle the small volume of new members that have signed up (only two million of the projected 12 million, according to some reports).
Can you imagine what would happen to your practice if the whole lot had signed up?
Right now, your staff members are likely spending your precious time and money on duct tape and bubblegum fixes, trying to help your patients understand the impact that their new plan has on their pocketbook.
At the same time, you are trying to figure out how it's going to affect your practice
s bottom line!
As I've mentioned in previous articles, physicians are banding together like never before. There are no egos here, there are no favorites, it's becoming an all out war on these insurance companies.
The TV ads that are running are really dumbing down to the population. People are getting so sucked into this vortex of deception regarding the health insurance exchanges that it's really out of control.
As a follow up to last week's blog, Health Insurance Exchange Problems Hit Patients, Practices Hard, I wanted to thank everyone who left a comment. If you haven't read it or the comments, I urge you to do so. People across the country are discussing how the ACA is affecting them, and some of the feedback could help your practice determine how to handle patients who have purchased plans through the exchanges.
I recommend that you sit down with your staff and going over the details of the exchange plans. When you provide the feedback and tools to your staff, they can confidently explain to the patients the plan details at their first appointment, and not allow misconceptions regarding the plans to get so out of hand.
Continue to reach out to your colleagues and see what they have found. It's very important that everyone sticks together on this.
Call the insurance companies' provider relations number to find out what you really need to know. If you get someone who cannot help you, ask for a supervisor. This is your practice on the line here, and the insurance companies have proven they are not very trustworthy.