8-1 Discussion: Healthcare Innovation and Outside Factors
In your post, consider the impact of one of the following topics and how it influences safety and quality:
The Affordable Care Act
Pay for performance/value-based reimbursement
Joint Commission accreditation
CMS reimbursement requirements
Select one of the topics listed above and indicate how that factor influences safety and quality in the healthcare industry.
The Impacts of the Affordable Care Act and how it Influences Safety and Quality
Since the affordable care act (ACA) was implemented in 2010, it has impacted the healthcare industry in several ways. The act led to an increase in the number of insured individuals in the USA; in 2010, 16% of the US citizens were uninsured, but in 2016, the percentage had dropped to 9%. The gains in the coverage included individuals across all income levels, both children and adults, and the different ethnicities and races in the country. This has led to more people, especially the lower-income levels be able to access medical services. The law protects individuals with pre-existing medical conditions from discrimination by insurance companies. Before implementation of the ACA, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions were charged more or could even at times be denied insurance for the condition, however with the introduction of the ACA, such individuals are now protected, and the law requires insurance companies to provide insurance cover without discrimination and to overcharge for the premiums. Medicaid has been expanded to various states since the passage of the act, which has increased the coverage making healthcare services more affordable to those with lower incomes (Lee & Porell, 2020).
The act has also had several impacts on the safety and quality of healthcare services. To ensure safety and quality, the act has established some provisions such as the Value-based purchasing program, which influence reimbursement to the hospital. It rewards those hospitals with providing high-quality care and lowers reimbursement for those that fail to meet the standards. Under the act, the Medicare and Medicaid center established a rule that regulates compensation for preventable conditions, including medical errors and hospital-acquired infections. This helps to ensure safety. Under the act, several research institutions have been established and are funded to carry out research on patient outcomes to improve the quality of care (Sommers et al., 2017).