Affordable Care Act May Not Be So Affordable In Kansas
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The 35th annual Sedgwick County Health Care Roundtable Conference was held at the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Wichita on May 8th, 2013. Approximately 150 attendees from the insurance industry in addition to healthcare providers and local Wichita employers attended. Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided a keynote address outlining the challenges of healthcare in the US and the current implementation of the Patient Portability and Affordable Care Act (“Obama care” or ACA). In the afternoon, Dr. Greg Duick, President and Chairman of KHH, joined Marlon Dauner, President of Health Dimensions, LLC, Robert Freelove MD, CEO / CMO of the Salina Family Healthcare Center and David Gambino, Chief Strategy and Regional Administrative Officer at Via Christi Health, in a panel discussion concerning “Changes in Health Care Delivery as a result of ACA.” Dr. Duick stated that “the advent of the electronic health record (EHR) makes physicians less efficient and is quite costly to purchase for medical practices.” In addition, he commented on the need to pursue quality and outcomes but to be vigilant about providing service to patients and their families. David Gambino commented that “Via Christi is positioning itself to improve safety and outcomes” since CMS is focusing value based purchasing, in part, on such quality measures. Dr. Freelove addressed his family practice medical home project which provides patients unique follow-up both in his practice and following discharge from Salina Regional Hospital. Marlon Dauner stressed that “physician led clinical efforts are crucial to success” in the new evolving healthcare marketplace. The audience was polled and gave their response to three specific questions: a) 65% said they believe the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will harm their companies, b) 83% said their companies believe that ACA will raise their health insurance costs, and c) 79% said their companies will continue employer-based health insurance but the cost of premiums will probably rise for employees. Time will tell how “affordable” affordable care really is.
Click here to read the article in The Wichita Eagle.