A Majority Of Physicians Oppose US Healthcare Reform

Healthcare reform is a highly debated topic these days, due to new legislation passed by President Obama late last year. Although the American public seems to be divided in their stance on the reform act, the now majority Republican-controlled House is not its only critic- a recent study cites that many physicians themselves are actually opposed to the reform efforts. Among the major points made, physicians polled feel that reform calls for a greater number of healthcare workers, many of whom are not required to earn doctorate-levelhealthcare degrees like nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

The report recently released by Thomson Reuters and HCPlexus details the results of a national survey which polled nearly 3,000 U.S. physicians on the issue of healthcare reform. The overall consensus can be generalized to say that a majority of physicians feel “frustration and dismay in a time of change.” ”

Of the physicians polled,

65% believe that U.S. healthcare will deteriorate with five years
18% believe it will improve
17% believe it will stay the same

If the healthcare reform act passed by President Obama remains in legislation, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), an estimated 32 million currently uninsured Americans will have will access to healthcare. Physicians participating in the survey report concern over who will treat these new patients. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants will likely begin seeing and treating nearly as many patients as physicians themselves.

According to the report, “physicians overall have a clear frustration with the non-physician providers’ compensation, which is comparable to primary care physicians, citing that nurse practitioners and physician assistants are not as well-trained or as educated.”

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants do have an education above a bachelor’s degree, but are not required to have earned their doctorate from a medical school like a physician.Healthcare degrees of all levels are in high-demand in response to reform efforts, which will require greater numbers of healthcare workers overall, in both an administrative and clinical capacity. Online programs offering advanced healthcare degrees are growing in popularity as a method for working healthcare professionals to earn the additional credentials necessary to qualify for higher-level positions.

Results of the study also claim that a majority of physicians have a similarly cynical view on how healthcare reform will affect patients. Results conclude that:

58% feel the legislation will negatively affect patients
27% feel the effect will be positive

Survey results distinguished responses among physicians of different medical practices, for example, as primary care physicians, or psychiatrists. Of all participating groups, pediatricians and psychiatrists were the most optimistic about the future of healthcare. On the other hand, dermatologists were found to have the most negative outlook; not a single dermatologist polled reported a belief that current healthcare reform efforts would have a positive effect on physicians.

Emily writes about Online Education for University-bound.com – a resource site for those interested in earning a degree online.

Health Care Reform’s Effects on Employers

I came across this paper written in July of 2010, and it still applies (at least until January 20th of next year). It outlines what is scheduled to occur in 2014 with small employer premiums under PPACA. First of all, a small employer is defined as any company with fewer than 50 employees. Large employers (50+) will have to pay penalties if they do not offer group health coverage. As far as I know, there is no penalty for small employers not offering it. There are some factors in California that may mitigate big premium hikes. Actually, we have had small group reform here for the past 19 years. It began in 1993 with a requirement that all employers with 5 or more employees be issued guaranteed coverage. In 1994 the minimum was lowered to 4 employees, and by 1996 it was lowered to 2 or more. The impact of this has been to stabilize the market over the long term. Group rates are already higher than individual rates because every employee that is eligible cannot be declined and all group plans must offer maternity coverage. Since the mandated addition of 100% free preventative care to all plans as a result of PPACA, premiums have not gone up as much as I thought they would, and in some cases have gone down. Keeping people healthy by early detection of problems should have a beneficial long-term impact.

What probably will have a negative impact on rates is the shrinking of the rate categories based on age. For example, rates are now broken up into 5 or 6 age groups, under 30, 30-39, etc. In 2014 there can be no more than a 3:1 difference between what is charged a 64 year old and an 18 year old. So if the premium for an 18 year is $150, the rate for the 64 year old could be no more than $450. The paper also talks about the removal of gender-based ratings, but California hasnt had them since the early nineties.

Will premiums go up? Of course they will, but I think California is better positioned than some other states. I have read comments by some that say “why should I pay for the people that dont want coverage and wont buy it?” My answer is that we all are already paying for the uninsured that either cant or wont get coverage, because they still use the health care system. And they use it for free. The rest of us pay for them in the form of higher health care costs and higher insurance premiums. From my point of view, and that of many on both sides of the issue, the biggest problem with the individual mandate provision that is before the Supreme Court (aside from the question of its constitutionality) is that it is not stiff enough. It is actually cheaper to go without insurance and pay the penalty than to buy coverage. But that was the result of political compromise. Too bad, because the one common element of every stable health care system worldwide is covering nearly everyone.

Of course all of this may be moot if Mitt wins. If he does, we may see some big changes to the Act. That might not be such a bad thing, but it should be noted that the health insurance industry has already priced many of the anticipated changes into their products, and some have said that it would actually cost them more to make changes once again so soon. Well just have to wait and see what happens. Hope this is helpful.

Benefits Of Choosing Careers For Life – HealthCare Vs Culinary

Building a career is very important for any individual. There are a variety of careers to choose from based on your academic qualifications. Healthcare field is absolutely ideal as an option when it comes to choosing careers for life. Nowadays, this filed is creating quite a stir all over the world because of the various benefits the healthcare professionals enjoy. If you wish to pursue a career in healthcare, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Based on the below mentioned benefits you will get a clear view on how Healthcare careers can build a solid foundation to your success. Some of the benefits of choosing careers for life in healthcare are as follows:

Better Job Opportunities: A lot of job opportunities are available for an individual who is looking for a career in the healthcare field. The major reason is that a large number of elderly people need more healthcare facilities due to their old age and sickness problems. A career in healthcare helps you to treat their problems and grievances and you also contribute a helping hand to the society. Whereas in a culinary career, although the job opportunities are good, youll not be contributing in any special way to the society apart from satisfying the customers taste buds. Usually the job opportunities start from an entry level position with a low salary package. So if you want to compare on better prospects with choosing careers for life, healthcare is most definitely the preferred field.

A Great Salary Package: Careers in healthcare field are offered with an excellent pay package. As the demand for practitioners is attaining newer heights, many hospitals and other healthcare facilities are willing to pay competitive wages and other benefits like insurance, retirement benefits and much more. Being a culinary graduate, it all depends upon your potentiality and hard work. Though some jobs offers come with a pay scale ranging from $8.50 to $15.00 per hour, it again depends on how you perform in the industry. The hard workers or the efficient ones can earn up to $36000 annually depending on your level of education or if you land up with a job in one of the best restaurants. While choosing careers for life, if your vital factor is a better pay scale, the best option for you is to join a healthcare course and reap the benefits of a healthy pay package and a better position in a professional field.

Suitable Work Hours: The best perk an individual can avail in the healthcare field is choosing the working hours that fit into his schedule. If you are a nocturnal, then you can work the night shifts since many hospitals provide round the clock services to their patients. On the other hand, culinary careers do not usually provide round the clock services to their customers, unless you are working in top rated restaurants. There is no option provided for working in shifts if you are employed in a small restaurant or a hotel.

Choosing careers for life in the healthcare field is a better option since they provide you the perfect platform to begin your desired professional life. The above benefits will take you on the right path when it comes to choosing careers for life. Making the right decision at the early stages and you can shape up your future more beautifully.

Fraud And Abuse A Major Reason For Waste In The Us Healthcare Spending

Health care fraud and abuse is an important and conspicuous factor in the resource and finance drain in the US healthcare system and is responsible, to an extent, for the escalating healthcare costs.

According to a report by Thomson Reuters on US healthcare spending, the US healthcare system wastes between $505 billion and $850 billion every year, out of which the waste caused due to Fraud and abuse constitutes $200 billion, or 22% of healthcare waste every year.

The following chart shows the percentage of waste caused due to different parameters in the US healthcare spending.

Source: Healthcare analytics, Thomson Reuters

What is healthcare fraud and abuse?

Health care fraud is a criminal act in which a consumer or physician(s) deliberately misrepresents facts or information, for the purpose of undeserved or greater reimbursement. Health care abuse is a reckless disregard or conduct that goes against and is inconsistent with acceptable business and/or medical practices resulting in greater reimbursement.

How to prevent it?

Health care fraud and abuse has played such a vital role in increasing the cost of health care and has become a pertinent issue for the government as well as the general public. The question is how to prevent it?

Both Consumers and physicians have to be alert to the possibility of fraud and abuse and work to prevent it. Consumers need to get involved with their health care beyond the point of going to the doctor and taking medication. They need to be educated on their insurance plan, how much they pay, the proper names of their ailments, and they need to keep track of the services they receive and why they receive them. Simple tips that may help prevent fraud and abuse include:

“Review Explanation of Benefits to ensure accurate dates of service, name of providers, and types of services reported
“Protect insurance card and personal information at all times
“Count pills each time they pick up a prescription
“Research providers with state’s medical boards
“Report suspected fraud and abuse as soon as possible

Along with consumers, physicians too must check for any unintentional fraud and abuse happening around them. They can have training and awareness amongst their staff to prevent unintentional fraud. These joint efforts would definitely check the fraud and abuse rate in the United States and ultimately bring down the overall cost of healthcare.

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Reasons Why Healthcare Public Relations Is Essential For Your Healthcare Business

Get Ahead Of The Competition
In this competitive world, Healthcare PR is a necessary component of any business related to the medical field. Whether its hospital public relations, a firm of doctors, or a business offering hospital quality equipment, a company must fight for a place in today’s competitive marketplace. Healthcare PR Agencies help a business to communicate, as well as push the public to recognize a medical firm as on par or even superior to its fellow competitors.

Healthcare PR Is Cost Efficient
Advertising is costly. These days it is difficult to know who that target audience is and which advertising will actually reach the intended audience. Public relations campaigns, on the other hand, deliberately reach out to all types of media. They also utilize the external and internal communication. Specialized PR firms seek to get a message to many different people in a variety of up and coming ways, such as blogs and social media, community outreach, advertisements both on and off line, and more.

Stop Controversy Before It Starts
When it comes to public image, business experts agree that the best defense is a good offense. Obviously no medical firm is perfect, and it is not enough to be ready to respond with the facts when the firm’s reputation is questioned. So to earn the good will of the community, hospital public relations agencies ensure that a firm is recognized for the good work that they do. Then, if a controversy arises, the healthcare business or hospital is not condemned by the public court of opinion via the media or potential customers. A health-related business needs to create public trust, and healthcare PR companies often make that happen.

Sustaining a Client Base
Last but not least, healthcare PR Agencies help healthcare businesses to create and maintain a large client base. Using unique techniques to reach the public at large, heatlhcare agencies will always keep the firms name in the mind of the public. Its just too easy to be forgotten, but a good public relations agency wont let your firm lose its client base.