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"Affordable" Care Act - Isn't.
How Will It Effect The Healthcare Industry

Nov 8, 2016

The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was passed in March of 2010 contrary to the wishes of the general population. The majority of people were not in favor of this program but the Democratic Congress and President Obama found a way to get it passed. The President made promises such as "it won't cost you a nickle more" and "if you want to use your current doctor, you can use your current doctor" and "you can keep your current insurance company". We found these statements to be totally false. The program was supposed to provide health insurance to 30 million poor and uninsured Americans, what it did, was to force many Americans with insurance to be dropped from their existing carrier and enrolled in Obamacare with less coverage at higher rates with another insurance provider. Some uninsured have obtained coverage, the numbers are difficult to verify - but it appears the total number now insured under the program (both previously insured and uninsured) is about 16 million - far short of the projections. Complicating the matter, many of the primary insurance carriers are dropping out of the program, leaving most of those whom need this insurance with few choices of carriers and often with only one choice - so much for competitive rates. As rates continue to increase, fewer young adults (presumably those with fewer care issues) are dropping out and electing to pay the penalty tax rather than the higher rates. This makes the problem tougher as those premiums from healthier young adults were suppose to offset the higher costs of caring for the elderly.

The President has indicated that increased premiums will be offset by tax credits. The problem with this idea is that those tax credits will need to be paid for by taxpayers whom do not have Obamacare insurance, many of whom are the middle class, once again penalized by a government insisting they want to support the middle class. Yes, the wealthy will pay a big share as well, but when it is said and done, the program will be inferior and the middle class and wealthy will foot the bill.

The effect of these problems may severely cripple care facilities. Hospitals and clinics must now rethink their strategies for providing high quality healthcare. It appears the number of Americans with near full insurance coverage has decreased significantly which will result in facilities having difficulty obtaining full payment for services. Reimbursements also have been reduced complicating the problem further. Facilities will need to choose to reduce services or accept less revenue - both would result in lower quality care.

Many facilities now have Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners seeing patients initially as well as for follow up thereby reducing the time doctors need to be available and reducing costs. Many facilities are acquiring previously owned diagnostic imaging systems realizing the technology has not changed a great deal when comparing them to new systems. These changes allow facilities to maintain a higher level of care while keeping costs under control. This does not satisfy the problem but enables the industry to get by while a solution is developed.

Both Presidential candidates have addressed the problem. Mrs Clinton suggests it is a good program that requires some changes. Mr Trump believes it needs to be repealed and replaced. Whom ever is correct, isn't clear - what is clear is - it is a disaster in its current state.

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Med Industry Blog

Recent Postings

Nov 8, 2016
"Affordable" Care Act - Isn't. How will it effect the Healthcare Industry

The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was passed in March of 2010 contrary to the wishes of the general population. The majority of people were not in favor of this program but the Democratic Congress and President Obama found away to get it passed.

Read Full Article

May 5, 2016

The transition away from x-ray film and Computer Radiography (CR) to Digital Radiography (DR) is advancing rapidly. There are a number of reasons DR is quickly becoming the x-ray digital output of choice.

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March 31, 2014
How To Plan For Diagnostic Imaging Expansion With Healthcare Programs Being Uncertain

Medical facilities are struggling to determine how to accommodate the uncertainty surrounding our current healthcare dilemma. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was established to increase the number of people who would be insured to receive healthcare benefits, by as many as 30 million people, thereby increasing demand for diagnostic imaging services.

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October 9, 2013
Which C-Arm Should I Buy?

Today you can be faced with many choices when deciding to purchase a mobile c-arm. Although most are appropriate for the majority of procedures, some may be particular good for the procedures you perform. Of course, the first consideration must be financial.

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February 8, 2013
DR Digital X-Ray Prices Finally Low Enough To Compete With CR

Direct Digital Radiography (DR) traditionally have been priced so high that only large medical facilities could afford to install them. The alternative for digital x-ray output has been Computer Radiography (CR).

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Nov. 23, 2012
Demand For Diagnostic Imaging Systems Growing Rapidly In Africa, The Middle East And Eastern Europe - Will The Systems Be Purchased?

The demand for medical facilities and related diagnostic imaging systems is growing at a tremendous rate. There is a strong need for x-ray and fluoroscopic systems as well as CT, MRI and ultrasound systems.

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Aug. 8, 2012

I recently received an email from a physician in India. He had been residing in the United Kingdom for several years and had returned to his home land. He contacted me because he was interested in developing a new business of selling and supporting pre-owned diagnostic imaging systems to facilities throughout India.

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How To Safely Buy Pre-Owned Medical Systems
August 8, 2011

Very often there is a need to acquire additional capability in our health care facilities but there isn't always the funds to purchase a new, full-functioned, state of the art, diagnostic imaging system. Therefore, a decision must be made to determine if the additional services can be shifted to another facility or if it is critical or at least necessary to remain at your facility. The decision usually comes back that it needs to remain and options to accommodate it must be considered.

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As Featured On EzineArticles
July 17, 2011
Digital Radiography - Electronic X-Ray - When, Why and How?

It seems like we have crossed the healthcare frontier and the only thing left to conquer is analog or film based x-ray systems. MRI's, CT's, Ultrasound, PET, Bone Densitometry, Mammography and most diagnostic imaging systems output digital data, that is except for Radiography and Fluoroscopy. Most existing systems are still analog and put out either x-ray film and/or analog video. Although most mobile C-arms are now being produced with digital output capability, most existing C-arms, X-ray systems and R/F systems have not yet been upgraded. When you consider that today there are more x-ray studies done than any other modality study, we should concede, we are way overdue in moving to electronic Rad and Fluoro. These upgrades should probably be initiated before all others at medical facilities today.

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How To Get The Most From Your Radiology Dollar
June 3, 2011

The decisions are getting harder when we try and determine what our facility should invest in to provide the best patient care. 256 slice CTs, 3.0T MRIs, Digital Mammography, PACS Upgrade, EHR and so on....? We first try and determine our available budget or we are asked to submit a request for funds based upon current and future requirements, local competition and/or physician requirements. It is now necessary to take a long hard look at what is currently being utilized and determine how best to enhance capabilities. You probably begin to bring in vendors to discuss the capabilities of their new systems, as well as potential costs. If you are like many administrators, you immediately get a large blast of reality $$$$$$$. You instantly know that you will be limited to one purchase or less and it's possible funding won't be available for several years. If you are experiencing growth, patient count is increasing, test procedures are on the increase, and avaliable system time is becoming harder and harder to come by, then you know you will need to upgrade Radiology capacity.

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