The Dawn of a New Era in Healthcare
The Affordable Care Act promises to provide millions of Americans with access to quality, affordable health coverage. As a premier person-centered health system, we have an obligation to do all that we can to ensure that as many people as possible understand and have access to the new coverage options available to them. This is part and parcel of our mission to improve the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve. For too long, those who are poor and vulnerable — along with millions of working families all across America — have been priced out of the many benefits that health coverage provides.
Our ministry has always been on the front lines providing critical emergency and safety net care services and is a key role that we will continue to serve in our communities. However, the benefits of health coverage go beyond simply providing payment for hospital or clinical care. The health coverage policies available to consumers on the new Health Insurance Marketplaces will cover preventive care and screenings such as vaccines, mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as prescription drug coverage, emergency care and behavioral counseling.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions, or charge women higher rates than men. The law also mandates that all plans must cover Essential Health Benefits and that policies must be explained in clear, easy to understand language. This will help our patients, especially those who are new to health coverage, make better, more informed decisions for themselves and their families.
As an industry, we speak a lot about the shift from acute care intervention toward accountable care organizations and population health management. Many of the key components of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act mirror the work we are doing as an organization to position ourselves to better provide high-quality, person-centered care. Implementing electronic medical records, reducing unnecessary readmissions and hospital acquired conditions, and our focus on home care initiatives all seek to reduce healthcare costs while improving the quality and patient care experience.
We truly are at the dawn of an exciting new era for healthcare in America. SCL Health will continue to grow and evolve to serve as many as possible in partnership with others who share our vision and values.
Michael A. Slubowski, FACHE, FACMPE
President and Chief Executive Officer