By Sarah Hijaz, Health Policy Intern
Modern technology has dramatically improved the way we communicate, connect, and learn. It is also beginning to improve the way we practice medicine and treat patients. On the 5th anniversary of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which created a platform for health information technology to revolutionize our health care system, we are taking a look at what technology has and will do for our health care.
With only 60 days left for consumers to enroll in the Health Care Marketplace, I joined health care advocates from across the country to hear from healthcare experts at the annual Families USA conference. Keynote speaker, Vice President Joe Biden, opened the conference with rousing words stating, “Now for the first time, health care coverage for all, is the law of the land.”
Health care Marketplace exchanges went into effect on January 1. Since open enrollment began in October, 6 million+ people have enrolled for new coverage under the law. Enrollment is still ongoing, and if you sign up by January 15, coverage will be effective on February 1. Despite the good news, media attention to "Obamacare" has been mostly negative because of roll-out glitches with the site and health plan "cancellation letters."
This fall, there will be a new way to buy health insurance. NCL takes a look at what it means for you. October 1 marks the beginning of a new way to buy health insurance, put into place by the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” The ACA increases health care coverage for many Americans, even those who were previously underinsured or living without insurance.
The historic health reform battle ended in March, with the signing of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. While many of the law’s programs and benefits will be rolled out over the next 5-10 years, there will be several, more immediate, benefits that we will begin to see in the coming months.
Health care is not always as safe as we would like it to be. More than 10 years ago, the Institute of Medicine came out with a groundbreaking report that found that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in American hospitals each year as a result of medical errors. What can consumers do to make sure they have a safe experience when they get health care?
The lack of comprehensive health care coverage is America’s albatross – it makes our businesses less competitive and our workers less healthy. We need to put partisan concerns aside and work NOW to ensure that the system is reformed. The cost of doing nothing is unthinkable.
Providing preventative health care is one of the most important strategies for lowering our nation’s health costs. We hear a lot about the 46 million Americans without health insurance, but rarely do we hear that more than twice that lack dental insurance.
Retail health clinics have been popping up all over the United States in recent years. Many consumers find them appealing for their conveniences, but critics question the quality of care and are concerned about their impact on the traditional doctor-patient relationship.
Therapeutic substitution, known also as drug switching and therapeutic interchange, is the practice of replacing a patient’s prescription drugs with chemically different drugs that are expected to have the same clinical effect. Many times patients switch to a different drug with no problems. However, for certain medications and conditions, therapeutic substitution could cause problems.