Posted on February 4, 2013 by admin
Will the affordable care act really ‘improve’ healthcare quality? I am not so sure. After seeing just how poorly Medicare & Medicaid programs have done in improving quality of care, access to care, and in covering essentials like qualified providers for mental health and obesity for example; I am not optimistic. In the case of mental health issues I see patients in need of high level mental health psychological assessment and treatment being denied access to state of the science assessment and care in favor of lower cost less trained providers. Sometimes the cheapest provider is not the optimal provider and specialists are going to improve outcomes where generalists may not have the training and expertise. This is also true of obesity management where the much touted Medicare coverage for behavioral intervention shut out the majority of behavioral health specialists by only approving those working in primary care settings (who are often psychological generalists and not obesity specialists). In fact someone with no specific training in obesity whatsoever would be reimbursed provided they are working in the primary care setting – makes no sense. The ACA has really not shown how it will protect against the same issues arising over time as financial realities need to be addressed. It is at high risk of the same fate.
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