The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) is here. It was implemented on October 1, 2010, and to say that the roll-out has been shakey is a little understated. However, it is now the law of the land, and as providers of heatlh care we need to be aware of how this affects our industry.
The ACA promises that there will be more insured inviduals and families. A lot of these new PPO policies will have individual and family deductibles of at least $1500 per year, though most will probably land in the $2500 range. The out-of-pocket costs will be higher for most patients. As a result, the health care practice should take a pro-active approach to limit its liability.
The first line of defense is the insurance eligibility and benefits verification by the practice. There is still a large percentage of practices that still not have implemented this as part of standard business practice. When the patient walks through the door their financial obligation to practice is should be known. This assists the practice with planning for possible pre-authorizations or certifications, and financial planning.
Patients should also be aware of what their possible financial obligation to their physician could be. Patients are able to contact their insurers to find out not only their eligibility status , but their health care benefits. The patient and the office can partner together to care for the patient as a whole person: physically and financially.