” В» Health Care Reform
Health Care Reform is changing the way health care providers and facilities provide care to their patients, how the law will impact the health insurance provided by businesses and employers in Michigan, and the options patients will have to obtain and maintain health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted on March 23, 2010, then amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act on March 30, 2010. Together these laws have been known by various names and acronyms, such as вЂњPPACAвЂќ, the Affordable Care Act or вЂњACAвЂќ, Health Care Reform and Obamacare. No matter how you refer to this law, it is moving forward and will affect consumers of health care, businesses and employers, health insurance plans, and healthcare providers and facilities. Donna J. Craig, RN, JD, a nurse attorney has focused her attention on analysing Health Care Reform and its interpretative regulations and guidance. She is a frequent speaker to various groups on the impact Health Care Reform will have on them as individuals, health care providers and employers and businesses.
While portions of the Affordable Care Act have already been rolled out, the largest impact is yet to take place. Originally individuals and large employers (with 50 or more full time equivalent employees) were mandated to secure health insurance in 2014 (or large employers would be penalized), but this has changed to give large employers a yearвЂ™s delay, and possibly individuals will also be afforded a delay in the mandate to secure health insurance coverage. While small employers and businesses (less than 50 full time equivalent employees) are not required to provide health care coverage to their full time employees, they will also not be penalized for not doing so. However, if a small employer with less than 25 full time employees does provide health insurance coverage to its employees, and meets certain criteria, they may be eligible for a tax credit.
Health Care Reform will move the focus toward providing more preventative care and improving care coordination between providers and facilities so as to decrease costly hospitalizations of patients. ACA establishes a voluntary Medicare Shared Savings Program that will encourage physicians and other health care providers and hospitals to improve the coordination of care to patients, which can result in health care providers and hospitals sharing in any resulting savings to the Medicare program.
Employers, health care providers, health care facilities and individuals are all affected by PPACA, and must move forward based on current and future regulations interpreting the Health Care Reform law. Donna J. Craig, RN, JD continuously reviews and interprets the regulations as they are published so as to advise her respective clients as to the options, opportunities and challenges associated with the Accountable Care Act.
If you are a patient, health care provider, employer, business or health insurance plan, and have questions regarding the Affordable Care Act, please contact The Health Law Center, PLC at [email protected]