InCharge HEALTHCARE 2019 and hot food choices to our team members who work on nights and weekends. We offer a wellness plan that includes a reduction in health insurance premiums for those employees who see their PCP annually, participate in health screening and basic annual lab tests, and participate in wellness activities. We also encourage our employees to be physically active and provide discounted rates at our Center for Exercise.” The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010, nearly 10 years ago. Shackleford said Arkansas’ ability to expand Medicaid and access to healthcare resources has improved the care for many. Beverly Nix Stone (r) exchanges ideas with Matt Troup. “More timely access has allowed many to receive care earlier in the disease process 300,000 formerly uninsured culture cannot be legislated,” Head and allows more cost efficient and Arkansans. But it also increased said. effective care,” Shackelford said. demand; waiting times to see a Stone lists the following “Comprehensive primary care doctor have increased. improvements as a result of ACA: initiatives have improved access “It was good more people were 1. Mandated coverage for for more patients to see a PCP coming to the doctor,” Troup said. annual exams with many of the and have incentivized primary care “But as the ACA continues to get immunizations and preventive providers to be more proactive in tweaked and whittled down, the screenings at little or no cost to risk assessment and management of moorings it was built upon have subscribers. complex chronic care conditions. The begun to erode so the viability of the 2. Coverage assistance based on additional resources to allow practice whole thing becomes threatened. income for basic plans which increase transformation and implementation When we don’t have the individual basic access for some, such as of care managers have been good for mandate, when there are no penalties Medicaid non-qualified working poor. overall care.” for not getting insurance, we are 3. Many more people have some However, physician services are left with the only people in ACA coverage. inadequately reimbursed compared being those who are really sick and She said the failures appear to to many surrounding states. are more expensive. A basic tenant be: “The ACA did little to impact of ACA was we were all going to 1. Bureaucratized enrollment. the finances of healthcare and little contribute and we are all going to 2. The loss of the individual to encourage personal responsibility benefit. Now with many people mandate. for patients,” Shackelford said. “In opting out, it is driving up costs.” 3. Elimination of some short-term addition, we also have uncertainty Head said that since the ACA coverage options. in funding of Arkansas’ Medicaid was adopted, the stakes are higher 4. Overly broad standard program following the recent federal than ever before to provide a highbenefits and reduction in plan design court decision that struck down work quality experience for patients since options that led to massive increases requirements. These are all issues that performance is now directly tied to in premiums, making it less affordable must be addressed if we are to have reimbursement. for most young people. a sustainable health system.” “While providing a higher quality 5. Failure to control drug prices. Troup said the ACA helped of accountability and care is of more What else can we do to give provide coverage to more than importance, creating that kind of Arkansans better access to care?
6 Arkansas Medical News