SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – The Affordable Care Act has sparked plenty of discussion both in D.C. and communities across the country. Besides affecting patients and insurance companies, it will also mean changes for providers in every specialty.
Most doctors will be seeing many new patients because 48 million uninsured will now access care.
“I think there will probably be less, emergency physicians will see less people who will be accessing care in the Emergency Room because they had no other route to get care. So I think they may see a little bit less,” commented Dr. Gordon Josephson, President of Baystate Medical Practices.
Yet, other practices believe there are many repercussions we cannot yet predict.
Michael Nordstrom is the Practice Administrator with Pediatric Services of Springfield. “The ACA and its effects on our practicing physicians is really a wait-and-see situation at the moment,” he said.
“The problem I think is the complexity. We have an extremely complex healthcare system,” Dr. Josephson adds.
Michael Nordstrom agrees, stating emphatically that neither patients nor physicians understand the implications of the act.
Many people argue that we were not prepared for the enrollment of the Affordable Care Act, but providers are trying to prepare for the effects of the act, after its implementation.
In addition to reaching out to insurance providers, they are also looking to technology to help them see patients more efficiently.
“So called e-visits where you might have a more simple question you’ll go online, you’ll be able to ask a question, you’ll be able to get an answer that might take 2 to 3 minutes, instead of 15 minutes in the office,” explained Dr. Josephson.
A tool that may be especially helpful as the act may affect a patient’s ability to get appointments with their doctors.
And for more complex issues you may even find yourself having a Skype-like appointment with your doctor, instead of heading into the office.
Baystate Medical Practices hopes to roll out these new e-visits sometime next year.