Are ACOs the Answer to an Affordable, Quality Healthcare & Health Insurance System?

Do you remember the Affordable Care Act of 2010? It is the one Congress titles: Quality, Affordable Health Care for all Americans. How about the part where it will be the responsibility of every single American – requirement – to maintain (and report on) minimum essential health insurance coverage? Ah, now you remember.

This is the biggest question on which we’re waiting for the Supreme Court to make its ruling. Passing this bill would mean that millions of uninsured Americans would have their health insurance coverage subsidized by the federal government. The question is not whether or not it is a good idea. The real question for the Supreme Court is whether mandating health insurance coverage is actually constitutional.

Whatever happens it will most likely turn out to be a double edged sword, and there is no easy answer.

There is good news though. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has started to 1) pay doctors bonuses if they improve efficiency, 2) encourage patients to shop around for treatment, and 3) pay doctors to install computerized records. I believe all of these are good, and no matter what happens at the Supreme Court, we’re not going back to the ridiculous status of healthcare and insurance of 2009.

Increasing health insurance costs, associated with our aging population and more disease, will ensure continuous efforts to expand coverage, reduce costs, cut waste and improve healthcare. We need to figure out more and better ways to address of all these issues. I’m glad to see Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina taking a proactive approach to working on a solution.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is creating (i.e. funding) with the University of North Carolina Health Care System (UNCHCS) a private accountable care organization (ACO) in which a shared risk model means patients will have easier and better access to their doctors, medical records, and test results.

I’ll write again about these ACO provider alliances. Will they deliver lower-cost but still high-quality health care via new payment models, particularly ones that reward efficiency? it is premature to tell. But I can help you find the right and most affordable plan for you and your family. Let me help you ask the right questions when getting health insurance quotes and comparing health insurance plans in North Carolina. I am happy to help you find the right answers for your needs.
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