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Posts Tagged ‘More insured patients ACA’

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Nearly 9 million Americans gained health coverage last year according to  Census Bureau reports.  The New York Times (9/17 ) reports that the number of Americans without health insurance dropped by 8.8 million last year, to a total of 33 million.

The Census Bureau reported Wednesday n its annual report “on income, poverty and health insurance coverage, and that the percentage of people without insurance was 10.4 percent last year, down from 13.3 percent in 2013.” According to the Times, officials attributed much of the change to the Affordable Care Act.
The Washington Post (9/17,) reports on its front page that the new figures from the Census Bureau “are the most solid evidence to date of the impact that the Affordable Care Act has had since its main coverage provisions took effect in 2014.”
The Washington Times (9/17, ) reports that Medicaid coverage “saw an uptick of 2 percentage points and now covers nearly one in five Americans.”
The Wall Street Journal (9/17)  reports that the findings also reveal the extent of the health law’s impact for some groups that have historically had lower rates of health coverage. In 2014, the insured rate increased by about 4 percentage points for Hispanics, as well as for blacks and Asians.
The Los Angeles Times (9/17, Lee) says analysts “expect the nation’s overall share of the uninsured to drop further as more people become familiar with the mandate and the federal and state marketplaces.”

Blogfinger Medical Commentary. Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC

One of my former partners had been working part time as a cardiologist at a free clinic in Georgia.  Recently the clinic closed because there weren’t enough patients without health insurance.  I have no doubt but that the increased numbers of insured patients are straining the healthcare system significantly.

Among the indicators:  long waits to get an appointment with a doctor, rushed care at in and out patient settings, stressed /burned out physicians and nurses, especially among ER and primary care doctors, under-staffing in hospitals terrorizes nurses trying to do their jobs correctly, difficulty getting to speak to a doctor on the phone, inappropriate substitutions of nurse practitioners for doctors, assigning clerical people in medical offices to triage medical complaints, inability to get doctors to see patients who are acutely ill,  difficulty finding a primary care doctor, long waits to schedule surgeries and tests, barriers at doctors offices that make it difficult for patients to get care, indifference by some doctors who are frustrated in their rolls as employees of corporate entities,  doctors rushing to get through busy office hours,  a greater risk of sloppy care and mistakes in offices and hospitals, frustration over electronic medical records by doctors and nurses , doctors going bankrupt and/or closing their practices, etc.

This is all anecdotal now, but I predict that this will become a huge story once some data rolls in. The emphasis on the bottom line has become the top priority which supersedes quality care. Too many bureaucrats in the healthcare field are making wrong decisions as physicians and nurses are becoming marginalized.  Watch for an uptick in malpractice cases.

Healthcare professionals:  What do you think?  Comment below:

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