A March 27 conference at Adelphi University, Garden City, N.Y., explored the changing landscape of healthcare in light of the Affordable Care Act. The symposium, sponsored by Adelphis Center for Health Innovation, featured keynote speaker William Toby Jr., a former administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Toby presented background information on the ACA and discussed changes in Medicare. He said the ACA has put pressure on payers and that is hurting providers.
Employer-sponsored insurance has eroded due to high costs, Toby said. Theyve dropped insurance for employees, and those people have moved to Medicare.
To help alleviate that pressure, CMS has set aside money to test new models of care so providers still can provide cost-efficient services.
New York State also has been effectively proactive in trying to help providers, Toby said. New York state has been the leader in going to [Washington] D.C. and coming away with the lions share of Medicare dollars, he said. That state has received a $10 billion waiver paid out over the next three years to increase payments to providers to help keep them accepting Medicaid.
The symposium also featured panel discussions that provided information on telehealth and discussed various healthcare careers that are likely to expand or emerge because of the ACA. There will be a new need for care navigators, according to the panelists, who also mentioned community health workers and medical assistants will be asked to play a stonger role in the ambulatory and outpatient settings. Panelists also said they anticipate changes in processes and technology, which will increase the need for ancillary positions such as informatics and data analytics.
Participants on the telehealth panel gave attendees an idea of its benefits, including decreasing hospitalizations. They also discussed how important it will be to those in rural areas, who now have insurance but may not have access to care.
Tracey Boyd is a regional reporter.