Affordable Care Act upheld by Supreme Court
Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2010 is significant news in a healthcare marketplace where reform is not only needed, it is already occurring independent of court rulings and politics.
As I have written about previously, the traditional, volume-based fee-for-service model of healthcare is broken. Our payers (government, businesses, families and individuals) are demanding changes in the reimbursement of healthcare services. As providers, we are searching for ways to achieve the “Triple Aim” in healthcare: healthy communities with great experiences and outcomes for individuals provided at a sustainable cost.
Healthcare in the hypercompetitive Twin Cities marketplace is moving away from rewarding volume only and instead is focusing on rewarding value (clinical outcomes and cost, in addition to volume). Park Nicollet is already moving substantially in this direction. In 2012, more than half of our projected margin will come from “shared savings” programs, with reimbursement based on the clinical outcomes we achieve and satisfaction of our patients. It is changes like this that will support our ability to change our clinic delivery processes to better support our patients.
The Affordable Care Act is a first step in providing insurance to uninsured Americans and in protecting people who have pre-existing medical conditions when they seek medical insurance. It does not substantially change the work we are already doing at Park Nicollet, however. Government, business and families continue to struggle under the cost of health care. It is our obligation to work with our partners, public and private, to make health care more affordable.
It is often said that the only constant in life is change. Here at Park Nicollet, we are already dealing with change and searching for ways to innovate and thrive. I am confident we can accomplish that if we continue to work with Head + Heart, Together and keep our patients at the center of everything we do.