No other healthcare legislation in the history of the nation has garnered more attention or prompted more debate than the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “ObamaCare.” Every professional in the healthcare industry should have a good understanding of how this legislation impacts jobs.
Even though individuals are divided on the act’s effectiveness, most politicians, analysts and healthcare professionals agree that the legislation is a landmark in the country’s history. The Act is modeled after Medicare, which has been in effect for more than 50 years. This legislation has an impact on everyone working in the healthcare industry, including aid works, doctors, and nurses. Experts also anticipate a reaction from the pharmaceutical industry.
Analysts estimate that doctors will see their revenues drop by approximately 15% under the act. The reasons for the drop are compliance costs, and the substantial amount of paperwork doctors must submit when treating patients. Hospitals and doctors assume the greatest risk of failing to comply and could face fines for providing incomplete or inaccurate paperwork, a situation that many perceive to be excessively bureaucratic. At the same time, experts believe that this intense focus on compliance can lead to a decrease in medical malpractice and negligence lawsuits.
There is an increased burden on nurses these days due to the shortage of physicians practicing in the United States. While the Affordable Care Act appears to make this problem worse, projections seem to indicate there will be more than a million jobs created for therapists, nurses, doctors and other healthcare specialists. Because the act allows coverage for any patient with a pre-existing condition, the value of existing nurses will increase while thousands of jobs open up for qualified nurses.
Only time will tell if the Affordable Care Act has the ability to deliver on all the promises it makes to the American people. It is likely to take at least a couple of years for everyone to iron out the administrative kinks before we know for sure what the results will be.