Highlights in 50-year timeline of national healthcare legislation, proposals, and policies since the Social Security Act was adopted in 1965
Articles tagged with "affordable care act"
Analysts predict the influx of insured patients that are expected to flood the healthcare system will likely shrink physician reimbursements, cause some otolaryngologists to flock to larger healthcare systems or limit access to patients with private insurance plans, and exacerbate the shortage of specialists
The health care reform law passed in March created a $50 million demonstration program to test alternatives to the current medical liability system. But reaction is mixed as to whether the new project will help fix what the physician and medical liability insurance communities view as a flawed and inefficient system.
I have been a strong advocate of electronic medical records (EMRs) for almost a decade. In fact, I used the phrases “It is the silver bullet for health care reform infrastructure” and “It is the cornerstone for health care reform infrastructure” to describe EMR plans when President Obama was campaigning. However, technology, like fire, can warm your house or burn it down, cook your food or kill you. Likewise, the wrong EMR will escalate inefficiency and raise health care costs. The wrong mandates or the wrong incentives have the potential to paralyze the day-to-day practice of medicine.
This issue of ENT Today includes an article on the debate over canal-wall-up (CWU) versus canal-wall-down (CWD) tympanomastoidectomy (p. 5). I remember hearing the same arguments when I was a resident at UCLA, which was also the last time I drilled a mastoid bone; my practice focused on head and neck surgery and pediatric otolaryngology. Over the past 32 years, Drs. Bruce Gantz, Rick Chole (two of my otology colleagues on the Board of Otolaryngology), and other otologist friends have suffered through my semi-tongue-in-cheek comments on why otologists can’t agree on which procedure is better. Although the technology used in both procedures has evolved, the final product of the two procedures, a dry, safe ear, is, as best I can tell, the same as it was when I was a resident. I have been told that one of the main factors considered in the decision regarding which procedure to perform is where the otologist trained.
The new health system reform law is expected to reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million people, and that means more paying patients for physician practices. Many doctors, however, worry that the law’s lack of Medicare payment reform and medical malpractice caps will exacerbate a looming physician shortage. This raises questions about how successful the law will be in increasing health care access.