Official goals and challenges of U.S. health care reform – A hope for better care, delivery, and costs – Part II

Healthcare Reform UpdateNeedless to say, health care reform is a hot issue now-a-days, and will remain as U.S. citizens rifle through information with the hope of making sense of it all. Part two of our series will easily outline the issues that are of extreme concern, look at how funds are being allocated and the avenues that are being taken to solve America’s health care situation.

These tactics are in addition to part one of this article series:

 Attempting to provide all Americans with the necessary healthcare within reasonable time

  • Prevention – many diseases that are harmful and expensive to treat can be prevented. While there has traditionally been a lacking in focus on prevention in the healthcare system, the Affordable Care Act is hoping to add prevention to one of its care improvement and cost saving efforts.
  • Coordination of Medicaid and Medicare Patient Care – each of 15 states will be receiving $1 million from the federal government to improve care coordination for Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries. The hope is that the streamlined systems will be more efficient and less redundant.
  • Greater Independence for Disabled Americans – throughout 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will provide more than $45 million in grants. By 2016 over $621 million will have been spent on improving Medicaid programs for long-term care in order to allow patients to remain in their homes instead of living in costly institutions.
  • Bringing Doctors and Surgeons Within Reach – as of January 1, 2011, the Affordable Care Act is attempting to make doctors and surgeons more accessible by giving them a 10 percent incentive payment for performing common medical services, for example, office visits and certain types of surgeries.

Minimizing waste and fraud

  • Decreasing Unnecessary Patient Exposure to Radiation – a new demonstration in the Affordable Care Act is currently examining whether decision support systems can help to improve the use of imaging technology so that they are not used unnecessarily.
  • Reducing Healthcare Supply and Equipment Costs – a more competitive bidding program will hopefully encourage the establishment of decreased payment rates for these items, with the goal of a 35 percent reduction (according to CMS predictions) in required payments by Medicare and beneficiaries.
  • Cracking Down on Fraud – the Affordable Care Act has invested $350 million to help with the detection and consequences of individuals who try to defraud the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare, and Medicaid.
  • Lowering the Deficit – according to the Congressional Budget Office, over the first 10 years of the Affordable Care Act, it could lower the deficit by up to $143 billion and may help the Medicare Trust Fund last up to 12 years longer.

Join us for part three on the U.S. health care reform’s vision to a better health care system.

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