The full impact of the Affordable Care Act remains to be seen, but Americans are skeptical. According to a recent PartnerMD survey, 69 percent of respondents are worried about the future of the traditional primary-care model.
PartnerMD CEO Linda Nash said that as the new healthcare regulations come into effect, faults within the existing systems are coming to light.
The two primary concerns are healthcare costs (cited by 51 percent of respondents) and healthcare regulations (23 percent). Just 10 percent of those surveyed said the Affordable Care Act will have a positive impact on their healthcare.
“The concerns expressed in this survey are not unfounded,” Nash added. “I am a strong supporter of implementing an affordable national healthcare system, but as millions of new patients are entering the current system, increased workloads and shrinking reimbursements are driving physicians out of it. The result is a care model that’s falling short.”
State lawmakers scramble to increase quality care
While the Affordable Care Act is being implemented, whether traditional care is being threatened or not, states are doing what they can to ensure patients receive quality care.
Last year 42 states, along with the District of Columbia adopted 109 laws or regulation changes to the physician assistant (PA) role. The changes essentially repeal barriers to effective PA practice and recognize the value of PAs.
AAPA President Lawrence Herman said although progress has been made, there is more work to be done. He added that it’s crucial that every state “modernize their PA laws” in order to give patients immediate access to quality healthcare.
“By design, PAs and physicians work together as a team,” he said. “In fact, PAs are often educated side by side with physicians via an intense graduate-level medical program. A team-based, collaborative model of delivering healthcare allows patients to have greater interaction with and exposure to healthcare providers, and it extends the reach of medical care to more people. As PAs prove their worth in every setting and specialty, smart state and federal legislators are seeing value in expanding the PA role.”
Adequate planning can prepare for any change in the status quo. Those looking to get started are encouraged to find reputable help.
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