PPACA Popular Provisions and Care Redesign Will Survive

By  //  June 23, 2012

Healthcare Policy

(VIDEO:  CBSNewsOnline, March 2012)

BREVARD COUNTY–The anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA also called  Obamacare) will again be high on Monday, but whether its upheld, struck down, or specific elements are maintained while others are not, this landmark SCOTUS decision will impact the provision of healthcare and health insurance in America for decades to come.  One sixth of the U.S. economy and care and coverage for tens of millions of Americans are in play.

PPACA Unpopular and Fate Is In Significant Jeopardy
SCOTUS ruling on the PPACA anticipated to be announced next week. (Official SCOTUS Image 2012)

When the 2010 PPACA was signed into law it represented an unprecedented legislative effort to expand coverage, contain costs, cut waste and improve care.  However, the law has been generally unpopular with Americans, and according to a recent survey conducted by the American Action Forum (AAF) involving 18 attorneys who have argued before the top court and 38 of the court’s former clerks, there is a greater than 50-50 chance the SCOTUS majority opinion will strike down all or part of the federal health reform law.

Specific Reforms Of the PPACA Have Traction Irrespective of SCOTUS Ruling
The provision to allow adult children to remain on a family health insurance policy is very popular, and several major insurance carriers have committed to maintaining the provision irregardless of the legal fate of the PPACA. (Image by Kaiser Health News)

Although the law is in jeopardy, many of the reforms it encouraged appear to have already taken hold. Healthcare analysts and industry officials say that providers, payers and policy makers realize the value of specific elements of the law, and, no matter what transpires with the SCOTUS rulings, will continue to develop and offer some of the federal health reform law’s popular provisions.

The transformational redesign of how care is delivered and wellness maintained that is baked into the PPACA has already become a primary strategic goal of most healthcare providers and payers. The fact is that, no matter what comes down next week, the train that requires legitimate collaboration and highly effective partnerships between historically self-centered sectors of the industry has left the station and there’s no going back.

Unlike three years ago, when the PPACA was being debated, hospitals, health plans, physician practices and other affiliated healthcare providers have already begun building the structures that will deliver more value for the patient and payer.

Imperative Is Continuous Improvement and Integrated Care
The focus for the future of healthcare is integration across all aspects of care. (Shutterstock Image)

The imperative for this transformation is a culture of continuous improvement, which requires healthcare providers and payers to focus on synergies with the ultimate goal being an integrated approach to all aspects of care across the continuum—wellness and health maintenance, acute hospital care, transitional care from hospital to home, and appropriate and compassionate long-term and end-of-life care.

As the reimbursement environment transitions from volume-based reimbursement to a value-based one (see Aug/Sept 2011 SCM Editor’s Note) focusing on quality, safe care and efficiency, providers will be expected to assume more risk for the health of a defined population, held accountable, and will lose out financially if the health of their patients doesn’t improve.

Space Coast Medicine magazine and SpaceCoastDaily.com will be your source for information related to the judicial fate of PPACA, and to the preparation, progress and success of our Space Coast hospitals and healthcare systems as they strategically engage and position themselves to best meet the comprehensive healthcare needs of the community in this new era of collaboration and accountability.