Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—also known as Obamacare—is constitutional.
We know what it will provide from a consumer point of view: many uninsured will soon have access to affordable coverage. The plan will keep young adults on their parents' plans, end pre-existing condition restrictions and increase consumer information about health-care choices.
Now, however, health-care providers are on the edge of their seats, asking what it means for them. Here are three expert opinions.
Claire Marblestone, attorney at healthcare provider firm Fenton Nelson: the decision will significantly impact all health-care providers. Many providers were waiting to see what would happen. Now, they will have to make changes. For example, there will be mandatory adoption of compliance and ethics programs for certain facilities, incentives to adopt electronic healthcare records and additional funds for rural health-care providers. The changes to Medicare and Medicaid will also impact reimbursement.
Bart Stupak, former Michigan Congressman: the industry focus will be on implementing programs as soon as possible. Demand for health care will explode as baby boomers continue to age. In order to accord expansion, it will be important for providers, insurers and the government to reduce the costs of delivering quality health care.
Bruce Johnson, CEO of supply chain management company GHX: healthcare is still in a state of change. The healthcare business is two-dimensional: It must deliver high-quality care to save lives while running businesses efficiently. So, healthcare reform is driven by the need to reduce costs while delivering high-quality care. To achieve that, businesses still need to change. Health-care providers need to standardize and streamline their processes.