Impact on the population
The passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 by Congress brought relief to thousands of families in North Carolina. Most of these families could not afford healthcare insurance (Hofer, Abraham & Moscovice, 2011). It has been difficult for many families in North Carolina to pay for healthcare insurance policies and bills because the cost of healthcare has been increasing annually. Also, many insurance companies have made patients pay more money through deductibles and co-insurance (Milstead, 2013).
The healthcare law will enable families to choose a healthcare insurance plan of their own and enjoy high discounts on their premiums. By the time it is fully implemented, many families will have healthcare policies which the law protects families from paying high co-insurance and deductibles (Hofer et al., 2011). This will ease the burden on families because these payments are paid out-of-pocket. The law also gives families the freedom to access as many benefits in a year as possible without any limits that were previously hindering many families from accessing healthcare. This was not possible before the passing of the law (Milstead, 2013).
The law has increased the options in healthcare insurance policies. For example, the use of tax credits to pay for healthcare premiums will enable many families to access healthcare. In addition, the Medicaid program aims at helping families living below the poverty level as recognized by the federal government. The overall implication of reducing the number of families who were not insured is to reduce the healthcare tax. The tax was imposed to help pay for the healthcare costs incurred by the uninsured families.
The healthcare law aims at improving the quality of healthcare and improving preventive services in healthcare facilities. The law advocates for better flow of information than before, and this is aimed at increasing knowledge on therapeutic agents and treatment options among patients and healthcare practitioners. The law sets guidelines for healthcare insurance companies. These guidelines are on transparency and fair competition (Hofer et al., 2011).
From the organization’s perspective, providing care to families or patients has many implications on health economics. Health economics aims at ensuring proper utilization of health resources for quality, affordable and accessible healthcare (Fuchs, 2012). Health economics in the organization is concerned with managing the financial resources to offer healthcare to patients. It has been proved that huge economic resources in any healthcare facility are directly related to the quality of care offered. The law aims at enabling many families access healthcare services. This will ensure that there will be abundant health resources in health institutions for adequate medical and pharmaceutical supplies. The supplies are essential in laboratory tests, medical procedures and in-patient settings, among others.
How patients will be affected in terms of cost, quality and access to treatment
The healthcare law aims at reducing the cost of treatment by patients. The law spells out the regulations to be followed by healthcare policy providers in formulating co-insurance and deductibles. Reduction in these payments will bring down the cost incurred by patients in obtaining healthcare. The increase in number of premium options implies that patients will have the freedom to choose a policy that is within their financial ability. Previously, there were the preferred provider organizations (PPOs) and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) healthcare policies which many patients could not afford (Shortell & Kaluzny, 2006). However, the tax credit premiums and the Medicaid program will ensure that most patients are able to access healthcare at affordable rates.
The law has stressed the need to improve the quality of treatment to patients. It has laid down regulations for operations of healthcare policy providers to ensure they are not involved in unfair competition. Secondly, it has attempted to ease the rate at which medical information disseminates. This will ensure that patients are informed on the improvements on treatment options and procedures. In addition, medical practitioners will share medical information on treatment and procedures. The overall goal of information sharing and dissemination is to improve the quality of treatment to patients.
Healthcare delivery in the United States of America is one of the best in the world (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). The Affordable Care Act will increase accessibility of treatment to patients in North Carolina. When all families will be insured it will be possible for them to access treatment from various healthcare providers throughout the year.
Ethical implications of the healthcare law
Medical ethics is essential in providing quality health by organizations. The healthcare act will have ethical implications to families and healthcare organizations in North Carolina. It is expected that people working in healthcare organizations will be open and honest to patients and policy-holders. It will be unethical and unacceptable for healthcare organizations to hide any information from patients. On the other hand, patients will be required to give correct information as requested by healthcare organizations. This information may be on marital status, age and medical history. If patients give false information, then they will have violated ethical obligations (Hofer et al., 2011).
Fuchs, V. R. (2012). Major trends in the US health economy since 1950. New England Journal of Medicine, 366(11), 973-977.
Hofer, A. N., Abraham, J., & Moscovice, I. (2011). Expansion of coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and primary care utilization. Milbank Quarterly, 89(1), 69-89.
Kovner, A. R., & Knickman, J. R. (Eds.). (2011). Health care delivery in the United States. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Milstead, J. A. (2013). Health policy and politics: A nurse’s guide. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Shortell, S. M. & Kaluzny, A. D. (2006). Health Care Management: Organizational Design and Behavior (5th ed.). Clifton, NY: Delmar.