Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some Parts of Healthcare Reform Not Dependent on Election

Romney or Obama?   Well for a good deal of healthcare and the way it operates it may not matter.  Yes this runs against a lot of the conventional wisdom and certainly cable news talk.  As our Kalorama KeyPoint LinkedIn site article details, there are a number of provisions of healthcare reform that are already underway or will be underway shortly, and the take within the hospital community is that even a repeal would not 'change the changes' that hospitals are expected to face very much.   Besides since so many hospitals are making changes in the direction of the policies in healthcare reform such as population-based care and increased technology, repeal may not broadly change what some entities are doing.

The following parts of President Obama's healthcare reform legislation are likely to still be a component of Federal healthcare policy even if the act is repealed by a future Congress and President, though their presence may not be as obvious:

  • Decreasing reimbursements for primary care 
  • Transition to ICD 10
  • IT incentives for EMR purchasing and requirements / penalties for non-compliance
  • ACOs already likely underway are unlikely to be terminated.  While new ACOs may not form in a repeal, there is a likelhood of  move a pay-for-value system as opposed to strictly a pay-for-volume system
These are changes that while they are in the law and may be technically removed in a repeal, are likely to be parts of any President's healthcare policy anyway, unless an unexpectedly large amount of funding for healthcare is appropriated.  

Dartmouth Hitchock's Director of Clinical Services sums it up pretty well.   "Organizational priorities will not be affected if health reform is repealed, which I do not believe will happen."