Hospital Management Feeling Impact of Obamacare
Also known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obamacare’s recent coverage expansion is affecting a lot more than just patients.
In fact, more and more hospitals are feeling the Obamacare difference when it comes to their management departments.
With changes in health in mind, here are just a few ways hospital management departments across the country are feeling the impact of Obamacare:
Networks and Doctors
Although Obamacare is making healthcare available to millions of Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions, the increase in patients is creating issues for hospital management departments.
Doctors are experiencing increased numbers of patients, but there are only a limited number of doctors associated with the Affordable Care Act networks.
This means management departments are struggling to balance the number of network doctors in their hospitals with the new patient load.
A limited number of doctors taking on more patients than they're used to leads to a shortage of doctors from one hospital to the next; this creates ongoing management headaches.
With Obamacare also come increased stipulations with Medicare. These stipulations include new laws that withhold Medicare payments to hospitals if patients return within 30 days of their original treatment.
This means that hospital management departments will have to shift focus to patients leaving the hospital, which puts undue stress on hospitals nationwide.
In addition, instead of doctors and nurses making a phone call to check on released patients, the hospital might have to assign a nurse to perform daily and weekly follow-ups in order for the hospital to receive Medicare reimbursement.
Increased Charity Care
Obamacare makes healthcare more affordable, but there are a great number of people who still can't fit health insurance costs in their budgets.
And, with health insurance premiums likely to rise in 2015, an increase in uninsured patients receiving treatment is likely on the rise as well.
These charity cases are part of the Affordable Care Act's requirement for healthcare service providers to never turn away a patient, but it's also putting financial strain on hospitals and the management departments that run them.
And, with nothing but increased insurance premiums on the horizon, the number of uninsured patients and patients who can no longer afford coverage will steadily grow.
New Policies, New Problems
It's the hospital management department's responsibility to make sure the hospital's daily activities run smoothly.
But, hospitals are massive businesses with thousands of separate moving parts. This makes implementing the new Obamacare policies a difficult task, even in smaller hospitals.
Likewise, because of the new Obamacare regulations concerning hospital earnings, many hospitals nationwide are merging and consolidating in order to get the most out of their budgets.
This means hospital management departments must ensure everyone is on the same page with policies on an even larger scale.
Electronic Health Records
The Affordable Care Act also requires hospitals to make the change to electronic health records.
Although many hospitals across the country have already done so, the ones that haven't must make the transition now. This short deadline is putting a strain on hospital management departments and overextending budgets to make room for the technological upgrade.
Although Obamacare is creating a better healthcare environment for millions of Americans, hospital management departments are feeling the impact in less beneficial ways.
About the author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health and hospital management.