Thursday, December 19, 2013

The United States of Affordable Care (Act)

Health Care Financing would seem to be a long way off from the patient waiting to see their physician.

In today's world the quantitiy and qualitiy of care depends very much upon the type of health insurance the patient has to use.   The care may be far different according to region, or state.

The term 'public health ' is a misnomer. The public health system is not accessible to all people for a number of reasons.  Many perceive public health as inferior to the 'private system of health care", and only would access a center if there were no other option. Many current users of public health and/or Federally Qualified Health Centers would not even know how to access ' private care'. Learn more about them here and here and  here.  I particularly like the last one. No one home --

The resource cannot be found.

If you are successful, the rules are as long as the Affordable Care Act.

A new term which may be unfamiliar to most providers and/or patients is the "Federally Qualified Health  Centers".  These centers are found more commonly in areas of low economic assets and amongst many people who fall in the range of the Federal Poverly Level (FPL).  And here are the numbers which are both unrealistic at the lower end and even more unbelievable at the top end.

  • $11,490 to $45,960 for individuals
  • $15,510 to $62,040 for a family of 2
  • $19,530 to $78,120 for a family of 3
  • $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of 4
  • $27,570 to $110,280 for a family of 5
  • $31,590 to $126,360 for a family of 6
  • $35,610 to $142,440 for a family of 7
  • $39,630 to $158,520 for a family of 8
We seem to be an impoverished nation in the world of developed countries.

Many of these centers predominantly serve 'medicaid' beneficiaries. They also serve ( unintentionally) to isolate medicaid and those who are receivng public assistance from the main stream of health care.  Hospitals and providers also treat these patients differently, not so much in terms of the quality of care they receive....rather the accessibility.  Many budgetary decisions by states often effect Medicaid patients first, because large portions of state budgets are allocated to Medicaid.

There is a non-admitted  'caste' system when it comes to medical care.  It largely is secondary to income and location, and in cities there is often a sharp divide between those living in upper middle class neighborhoods and lower class neighborhoods.

The situation is also becoming worse, and there is no sign the Affordable  Care Act will diminish the divide.
Although the ACA specifies preventive medical care  (for free)  Despite being "free", there will be a cost. There are 14 general categories,   22 special categories for women, and 25 categories for children.

A disturbing distinction between public health and private health financing is also more evident with the introduction of health information technology. In order to qualify for Grants for Information systems and operational financing a non-profit status is a requirement, which immediately rules out most entrepenurial systems (ie, private fee for service office and/or clinics, as well as some hospitals.

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