Affordable Care Act (ACA), nicknamed Obamacare has brought a rise in the number of Americans who can gain access medical care. It has made almost than 30 million Americans have a possibility of getting medical insurance or affordable health cover. The scope of pursuing healthcare administration and policy has changed since Obamacare was signed into law in 2010. As promising as it was ACA before implementation, it was clear that the policy would present new greater prospects as well as various predictable and unpredictable challenges with which both the citizens, healthcare providers and administrators would have to deal.
When Obamacare was about to be established, healthcare professionals at the policy level were thrown into action in attempts put in place structures that would support complexities of the law. Every state was working on various health policy adjustments to accommodate Obamacare. It was with great fascination seeing how every state was making efforts for the law to work in an already difficult healthcare environment(Power, 2015).
ACA has affected the healthcare administration and policy jobs in a very obvious way. The number of patients seeking healthcare services continues to rise as millions of Americans visit hospitals and clinics (Boninger, Gans, & Chan, 2012). As a result, it is not tasking to note the dire need of more healthcare professionals such as nurses, physicians, practitioners, and policymakers who will be responsible for managing the future outcomes as well as innovations in the health sector. There is clearly a deficit which will need filling in the near future through the hiring of more health administrators and other staff to deal with the great influx of patients in health centers. That is one way in which ACA will directly affect my career.
Affordable care act mandates that a part of the target number seeking medical services be covered under individual mandate while the other will be included in the expansion of Medicaid. This means that there would be regular adjustments to the eligibility criteria for Medicaid recipients. In newly created marketplaces, the law introduced subsidized private insurance as well as new regulatory conditions to take care of the insurance market. All these changes mean that the ACA contained provisions which have the potential to influence employment outcomes (Power, 2015).
The responsibilities of healthcare administrators include clerical services or management and control of the accounting, budgeting, and marketing of healthcare enterprises. They work closely with doctors and other medical staff to provide medical care to patients. These responsibilities demand a lot of paperwork and commitment. There is a possibility of long queuing or wait times. An increase in number of patients under affordable care act will result in dealing with a very large number of patients. Manual data entry of patient information would mean that the professionals will be overburdened with work hence suffering from increased stress levels. The mounting stress and instability levels are some of the effects that I would face as a result of the changes with which Affordable Care Act came.
In addition, there exists a possibility of not conducting thorough and comprehensive professional work as there would be less time, for consultation or otherwise, that the patient would spend with the doctor. This is disadvantageous for the patient who is mandated to undertake medical care by law. The knowledge of such pressure can negatively influence a prospective health professional against pursuing the same as a career.
The implementation of ACA would see additional 190 million hours in the compilation of all paperwork annually. In addition to limiting the time between the patient and the health service provider, it will also render the government as a patient-provider. These are changes which will result in long hours of work contrary to how the situation used to work before Obamacare was implemented.
A few years ago, it was estimated that the next decades following the implementation of ACA, the American hospitals would require more highly trained professionals like doctors, nurse, as well as medical practitioners who are also well educated("Obama Cares Effect on Healthcare Administration Jobs," n.d.). I would like to think that this will provide great inspiration for those willing to pursue health administration and policy as a career. The high education in this context would mean having the right knowledge about the dynamics of dealing with the challenges presented by Obamacare. When seriously looked into, such emphasis would grant giving quality cost-effective medical services while at the same time remaining innovative.
The healthcare administration jobs will certainly be affected by Obamacare in the coming years, and for better changes to come up, upcoming and prospective healthcare professionals should be in better positions to come up with policies which will enhance their competence in the healthcare field. Combined with healthcare business leadership, the scope of venturing into this career promises great prospects.
The future career opportunities for healthcare administrators and policymakers are promising. The United States department of health and human services has started to organize and fund rural healthcare provision alternatives. This decision should come as great news for any prospective healthcare administrator who would fancy operating within the rural areas rather than the big cities. The main reason behind funding rural medical service projects is because of the shortages of practitioners in those regions. While in the remote areas, there are technological means such as Project ECHO through which rural healthcare professionals can connect with their counterparts in other parts of the country to brainstorm ideas and solutions. Therefore, healthcare administrators and policymakers in rural areas should see this expansion to aid in increasing their services to reach more people as well as hire more employees (Stone, 2014).
The implementation of ACA will shift the flow of money to doctors, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals; meaning that there will be job opportunities in home care fields. The best prospects for work will most likely favor the health administrators who will be willing to step out of hospitals to work with home health care services or manage medical practitioners or interns. As an advantage over the rest, those administrators having information and technological skill set would attract greater opportunities in this field as they will help digitize the system. Their services will be needed in securing the healthcare systems, data entry, and keeping and retrieving of medical records. The ACA is expected to aid in the creation of 245 community health centers which are expected to be managed by healthcare administrators (Stone, 2014). In my opinion, these opportunities are a great pull into the healthcare field which should encourage those seeking to pursue careers in health administration and policy.
Boninger, J. W., Gans, B. M., & Chan, L. (2012). Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Potential Effects on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93, 6, 929-934.
Obama Cares Effect on Healthcare Administration Jobs. https://www.marist.edu. Retrieved 17 September 2017, from https://www.marist.edu/admission/graduate/public-administration/obamacare-effect-on-healthcare-administration.html
Powers, J. S. (2015). Healthcare Changes and the Affordable Care Act: A Physician Call to Action. Cham: Springer International Publishing.
Stone, I. (2014). How the Affordable Care Act Will Affect Healthcare Administrators. Topmastersinhealthcare.com. Retrieved 17 September 2017, from http://www.topmastersinhealthcare.com/how-the-affordable-care-act-will-affect-healthcare-administrators/
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