June 29, 2012
By: John Rossheim, Senior Contributing Writer
In the wake of the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it seems that everyone is a doctor -- of spin, if not of medicine.
Political conservatives and commercial insurers rail against excessive powers of Federal government and unfair caps on their profits, respectively.
Pro-ACA providers express relief that they may continue efforts to bring more patients into the system rather than continue to treat them as outsiders, too often in the ER. Healthcare Finance News and Beckers Hospital Review offer around-the-table perspectives on the meaning of the court’s ruling, today and for years to come.
Recruiters have health insurers as clients, not just healthcare providers. (Commercial insurers’ stocks faired poorly on the day the court’s decision was announced.) The Supreme Court’s ACA ruling removes an important roadblock for healthcare staffing -- considerable uncertainty -- anathema to any decision to increase headcount.
Deadlines loom, such as the Federal mandate for states to create health insurance exchanges by Jan. 1, 2014, which will give more people coverage, and require substantial HITECH recruitment for implementation.
Increased Medicare taxes on high earners will bring more money into the healthcare system, in 2013. And even insurers might love next year’s implementation of the individual mandate, as it should bring in premiums from healthy young people who tend to require less medical care.
Of course the ACA also includes many provisions to make the healthcare system more efficient; to the extent that these efforts succeed, labor demand will be curbed.
For all stakeholders, it’s time to “breathe deeply -- and again,” as the nurse practitioner says, and ponder the full reach of healthcare reform, not just the controversial provisions. The Commonwealth Fund presents a helpful overview.