Barbara B. Tobias, MD, medical director of the Health Collaborative, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based nonprofit focused on improving healthcare, says physicians in Greater Cincinnati understand that the community prospers when everyone is healthy, and access to healthcare is a critical piece of that. That’s why there’s a need to carefully evaluate what the right incentives are so that there aren’t additional barriers to health for physicians, hospitals and the diverse population they serve, she says.
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“Levers like flexible savings accounts, higher premium rates for older adults and high deductibles often discourage people from seeking the right kind of care to keep them healthy and out of emergency rooms later,” she says. “Provisions like this found within the Republican ACA replacement plan, coupled with the proposal to restructure the Medicaid program, creates uncertainty for physicians in ensuring there are no disruptions in care for all who walk through our doors.”
Millions may lose coverage
Many of the nation’s leading hospital and doctor groups are lining up against the new bill, saying they fear millions of Americans will lose coverage.
Hoff says for physicians in an inner-city or rural area, the new rules could cause meaningful numbers of patients to stop coming in because they cannot afford to pay or because they have lost their insurance.
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Simon Lorenz co-founder of Klara, a New York-based healthcare communications platform, notes physicians should take this time to do a practice audit and focus on easy marketing campaigns like digital appointment reminders to boost visibility.