Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, what kind of impact can you expect it to have on your healthcare facility?

After the recent Court’s ruling, medical professionals, patients, and facilities are all wondering “how is this going to affect me?” The more proactive facilities are at understanding these changes, the better off they will be as these changes roll out. If your facility has held off planning until the Court’s,  now is the time to evaluate your facility.

“Get your house in order,” wrote Rebecca Sheehan, editor-in-chief of Long-Term Living Magazine. “It’s time to work smarter and harder in partnering with hospitals and referring agencies. It looks like accountable care organizations are here to stay, and data and metrics are critical to demonstrating your facility’s ability to avoid hospital readmissions.”

The recent ruling means that medical facilities will be faced with servicing more patients, with potential changes in pricing and cost-cutting as a result of the Act. However, many facilities are recognizing that while there will be ratifications to how services are provided, there are opportunities for collaboration with other facilities. Dr. Toby Cosgrove, President and CEO of Cleveland Clinic recently said in an interview with Fox News that this opportunity to work hand-in-hand with other facilities “is meant to encourage an integrated system, where a patient can benefit from more coordinated care.”

Part of this coordination of benefits your patients will experience will be as they transition from one facility to another and are able to receive the same treatments and care. The Act is structured for processes to be put in place that will enable you to provide seamless care regardless of your facility type.

While most portions of the Act do not go into effect until 2014, there are portions that are being rolled out much sooner. Deciphering how each change on the hundreds of pages of the Act will impact your facility can be a daunting task to many facilities. The Affordable Care website has a helpful breakdown of when the changes will begin to be unveiled, which can be advantageous to directors in prioritizing issues that need to be dealt with.

What’s going on at your facility? Have you started looking at your processes, your programs and “embracing the data?” If so, what have you found that works and what doesn’t? How are the necessary changes coming about? Easily or not so much? Are you experiencing pushback from patients, employees, stockholders, etc.? Or are the necessary changes moving smoothly along? Regardless of the feedback or opinions you may be hearing at your facility, all organizations should approach the Affordable Care Act as an opportunity for improvement.

We’ve been posting here at the Snelling Medical Blog for a several weeks now. What’s your take on our efforts? What topics would you like to see us cover? Meanwhile, if you have any questions or if you’d like to discuss our medical staffing services, just give us a call or send us an e-mail.

NOTE:  A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.  

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