Author Topic: Obama's Health Plan  (Read 1874 times)


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Obama's Health Plan
« on: April 02, 2009, 07:31:05 AM »
I just wanted to see what everyones input was on the Obama's Health Care Plan.  Do you think it will affect the future of billing services?  My husband explains it as "free" healthcare for anyone who needs it, which makes it sound to me like less work for the "medical billing field".  I'm still on the bench.....I don't really know what to think about it.   ???
Pam McKewen


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Re: Obama's Health Plan
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2009, 09:11:03 AM »
I don't know the specifics on the Obama plan but I don't like the idea of moving toward's socialized medicine.  I know something should be done, but I just don't feel that offering free healthcare to all can possible be good.  Especially with all the other money being spent out there, but this isn't a political forum so I guess I better stop there!  :(

Anyway, I don't anticipate any drastic changes with the medical billing field in the near future.  Even if they offer free healthcare to people who qualify there will always be the ones that have healthcare thru employers, or self bought plans, medicare, tricare, etc.  We just have to take it one day at a time!

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Re: Obama's Health Plan
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2009, 12:29:35 PM »
Our country will never see socialized medicine but I do think the Obama Administration will try and screw things up more before they realize it won't work. JMO <g>
I do however think this is a WONDERFUL time to market.. with doctors having to really begin thinking of EMR, they will be trying to come up with budget's and they already are crunched by low reimbursements, high malpractice insurance, many of them will be looking for COST EFFECTIVENESS, BENEFITS and SERVICES.

I'm counting on the Obama Administration to PUSH this as far as they can before they realize they pushed too hard and too fast, not as a consumer of course but as a healthcare administrative consultant this will only create more work for me  ;D I'm also starting back up my billing company as I have just been receiving a LOT of inquiries lately.

Linda Walker
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Re: Obama's Health Plan
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 10:35:34 PM »
I know this does not answer your question but given your concern about it you may want to read this article if you havent done so already.
Just a little insight of what is instore..

COPYRIGHT 2009 Eli Research, Inc.

Stimulus package will shower billions on health care, health IT: goal: give every citizen an EHR by 2014. (Funding)
Publication: Medicine & Health
Publication Date: 20-FEB-09

With hopes of reviving the economy and saving millions of jobs, President Barack Obama signed a huge economic stimulus package into law on Feb. 17. Numerous provisions in the plan's $787 billion spending and tax cuts will affect healthcare insurers and providers.

The largest line item is tax cuts--$288 billion. Recession victims will get extended unemployment benefits and help with healthcare coverage. The measure also expands healthcare information technology, long a talking point for the president when he was on the campaign trail.

Billions Injected Into States, Health Industry

The bill directs about $150 billion in new funds to health care, said The New England Journal of Medicine. Here's the breakdown:

* $87 billion for Medicaid. The bill will shore up state Medicaid budgets largely by holding off on planned reductions in the Federal share. States hardest hit by job losses will get even more money.

* $24.7 billion to subsidize private health insurance for people who lose or have lost their jobs. "The COBRA provisions will take effect soon after enactment and so require prompt attention and action from plan sponsors and administrators," said Watson Wyatt Insider. Watson Wyatt is a consulting firm that helps manage employee benefit programs and advises pension plans and insurers.

* $19.2 billion for health information technology. Incorporated into the stimulus bill is the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. HITECH codifies the position of national coordinator for health information technology, provides $2 billion for discretionary spending, primarily for grants and loans, and sets a goal of "utilization of a certified electronic health record for each person in the United States by 2014."

* $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health. The new NIH funding, equivalent to a third of the institutes' $29.5 billion annual budget, was added at the insistence of Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), NEJM said. Specter, who has survived a brain tumor and two episodes of Hodgkin's disease, was one of the three Republicans in Congress who voted for the legislation.

* $650 million to support prevention and wellness activities targeting obesity, smoking, and other risk factors for chronic diseases; and

* $500 million for health professions training programs.

HITECH Addresses Privacy Concerns

But the stimulus act isn't just a pot of money; it's policy. The HITECH Act significantly expands the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Security Standards and includes rule changes that privacy advocates have sought for years, NEJM said. For example, it allows patients to request an "audit trail" showing all electronic disclosures of their health information and mandates that they be notified about any unauthorized disclosure or use.

Critics have urged Congress to kill the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and start over. The Institute of Medicine says HIPAA doesn't protect patient's information well enough yet hinders health data research at the same time, according to Reuters.

Best practices: Among the provisions in the economic stimulus package that President Obama signed today is $1.1 billion in federal funding to investigate how different treatments compare, Scientific American reported. The journal's Web site predicted the money will likely go to comparing drugs, devices, and medical procedures.

A 15-member council will make recommendations about what to study and coordinate research between three federal agencies: the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The research responds to a concern that doctors have little evidence of the value of many treatments, the New York Times reported. Supporters of the research hope it will eventually save money by discouraging the use of costly, ineffective treatments.

Pharmaceutical and medical-device lobbyists fear insurers or the government will use the findings to deny coverage for more expensive treatments, the NYT said. Republican lawmakers and conservative commentators complained that the legislation would allow the federal government to intrude in a person's health care by enforcing clinical guidelines and treatment protocols.
COPYRIGHT 2009 Eli Research, Inc.