Healthcare Changes Happening Now

A quick summary of ways to be prepared

stamped letters "healthcare reform"

America, get ready. You’re about to wake up to a whole new world of healthcare. We are moving from a healthcare system of the 1950’s into a model better suited for a population of the 21st century. The old-fashioned hospital is about to be integrated into a regional system of specialized facilities that will streamline care, avoid duplication of services and deliver better outcomes. And that’s only one of many changes. Here are others:Cosgrove LinkedIn Banner Vertical

You’re going to need insurance or pay a penalty

Be prepared. The Affordable Care Act requires you to enroll in an insurance exchange, apply for Medicaid, or buy insurance through your employer. If you don’t, you’ll be charged a tax penalty of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (up to $285 for a family) or 1 percent of your total income, whichever is greater – and that’s going up after 2014.

Your doctor will be part of a team

When you go for your medical appointment, you’ll be seen by a team of caregivers that might include a nurse practitioner, physician assistant or other highly trained caregivers. If appropriate, you’ll be able to get shared medical appointments with others who have similar conditions. Shared appointments are popular in diabetes and women’s health. You get private time with caregivers plus a chance to hear from and compare your experience with other patients.

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You’ll be able to shop for healthcare

You’ll be able to comparison shop, and you’ll want to, because more and more of the costs of care will be borne by you, the consumer. Competition is good – but shop wisely! Look for reputable providers with experience in what you need, and who are willing to share their outcomes information. Saving money up front could cost you plenty in the long run. Complications from less-than-optimal care could require expensive follow-up procedures.

No more passive patients

For too long, healthcare has been something that was done to you. Now, it’s going to be something you do for yourself in partnership with your doctor and caregiving team. You’ll need to monitor your food input, get exercise and avoid tobacco. If your doctor prescribes a medication, preventive strategy or course of treatment, you’ll want to follow it. You’ll want to do this for several reasons. One is good health, which is priceless. The other is your medical bills, more of which you’ll be paying yourself.

These changes – and more – are coming at us. But there’s no reason to be anxious. Things are getting better. We’re all getting more realistic about the costs of healthcare and who pays them. The result will make medicine more efficient, effective and accessible to all.

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Delos M. Cosgrove, MD

Delos M. Cosgrove, MD, is President and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, where he presides over a $6.7 billion healthcare system.
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  • Hank Rand

    What amazes me most is how companies like The Cleveland Clinic were able to survive at all in the cesspool that is American healthcare, pre-Obamacare. We hear all day about how savage our system is, so it’s nothing short of remarkable that The Cleveland Clinic has been able to survive and – per some – even compete as not entirely awful amid America’s hateful and destructive healthcare landscape. Congratulaions!

    Oh, hey, before I forget: Maybe next time we can incorporate some common sense solutions that (wait for it!) even go BEYOND forcing the people of America to purchase something exclusively because they were born that will be married to 310M other purchases thereby employing one, huge, final and of course brilliant volume discount. Things like enabling interstate competition, enacting meaningful tort reform and targeting waste/fraud/abuse with even a modicum of seriousness. Of course everyone loves that awesome piece of Obamacare that says kids who aren’t dependent on the government yet can stay dependent on their parents until their mid 20s…but that can be done in a half page, double-spaced. So, unlike the promise to keep your doctor if you like him/her, that part can stay if you really want to be taxed more so your kids can be independent less: Have at it!

    Here’s a thought: If you don’t buy in to the media spin that the only thing more hateful, evil and debilitating than America itself is America’s healthcare landscape – then the next time someone says “Yours is the only nation to do (or not do) X”, run toward that distinction instead of from it.

    • Dillonvale1964

      Sorry, Hank, you put the” mess” in message.

      • Hank Rand

        Hey man, real quick…if any of your slavery and segregation loving pals haven’t yet mastered the substance-free use of “Shut Up!” as well as you (and most Democrats, liberals, progressives and socialists) have, pass this along to give them a leg up:

        Best! : )

  • Shane

    Wow. Hank Rand just stated a whole bunch of big, meaningless words, then irony died!

    • Hank Rand

      You actually make some really good points that I hadn’t considered yet. Kudos for advancing the dialogue with substance and original thought!

      Also, “Following 9/11, irony was declared “dead,” the argument being that it was no longer funny to point out the irony of a situation (i.e., an occurrence which is unexpected given the circumstances). This notion never really made much sense, however, since it is impossible for a concept as powerful and pervasive as irony to die. Still, the catchphrase “irony is dead” sounded pretty cool, so people started bandying it around as if they knew what it meant (or even what “irony” meant, for that matter). The fact that said people could declare irony dead without knowing what it meant was itself somewhat ironic.'”

  • Sharon Landy

    I already hate the fact that I pay to see a Dr. But have only seen him once in three years. Always see the nurse practioner . Not right. Ins. Co. Said it is wrong too because they are paying for a Dr. …..a much higher rate. I do not like this practice one little bit. I need a real Doctor!!!!

    • Jeffrey Whittaker

      This is a most excellent point! The healthy should not have to pay for the sick! The doctors have to stop depending on money! If they are healing us then there will be less and less disease, less and less money!

  • ernursegirl

    Doc, I am sure this will not affect your bottom dollar! As a retired registered nurse, mother and wife we spend more per month on health insurance than we do our mortgage! Also, there is no team in I doc. You know as well as I, the docs are booked 1 patient q 5 mins. That is an ER mass of people for 1 doctor and 1 LPN to see in 8 hours. Now we, the consumers must pay more. Let me welcome you to the real world. We pay 225.00-240.00 per week, health, dental, and vision. Health has a $12,000.00 dollar deductible- which we must pay before the insurance pays anything. Well, Doc your so educated why don’t you add that up. it’s at least $23,700.00 per year! That doesn’t include the 20% of all appointments and procedures that may be done. Yet you believe this is a good idea. Get you head out of the millions of dollars you make each year and live like we do, the middle class American people. I must say to be so educated you have no common sense at all. Maybe you should research a bit more before throwing out how this is going to be a good thing Doctor!

    • Jeffrey Whittaker

      The doctors are greedy! That’s the cause of our suffering! Then they make us pay for the medicine which should be given to us because we have need of it! Doctors don’t need money, they need morals!

      • Oncology nurse

        It’s not the doctors who are greedy. It’s the insurance and drug companies… A doctor receives NO financial gain from any drug that he/she prescribes. The greedy drug companies receive all of that profit.

        • Chris

          That is bs! Doctors get kickbacks f or prescribing certain medicines! When the pharmaceutical reps bring the staff lunch… that’s s bribe!

    • shanob

      It is going to save my small business $8,000 in health insurance costs next year. This will be good for the economy as well.

  • Sarah Phillips

    I wish I could be this optimistic. I wonder if my job is going to even offer insurance amd if they do will I be able to afford it? The “affordable” care act is hardly thr the right name for the biggest tax in this countries history. Hopefully it gets repealed. I know they’re chipping away at it.

  • Bob Spencer

    I hope Cleveland Clinic can demonstrate their effectiveness with the team approaches and what appears to include more personal attention. I have lost two doctors in the past couple years because the hospital requires that they reduce the amount of time given to each patient. The hospital needs the revenue; and, it is a prominent state owned teaching hospital.

    I have had other experiences when nurse practitioners figured out my illnesses when the MD did not. The practitioners had plenty of years of experience.

  • lambfound

    Vote every Democrat out and get back to sanity. Americans will hate this, and it is going to cost much more than they have been used to. If we get the government out of healthcare, the marketplace with bring down costs for everyone. Government regulations are the root of all of America’s problems and killing our economy.

    • shanob

      I like it already, they will finally have to cover my whole body, not just the parts they happen to like.
      Health insurance is something the government does better than the marketplace. We will have a system like Switzerland. Look into that system, it uses private companies, but has great regulations that protect people from unscrupulous insurance providers.

  • stephieopolis

    Please, get your staff under control. During my last visit to Cleveland Clinic a doctor who had previously recommended me to seek IVIG treatment and/or chemotherapy for an autoimmune issue, told me there was no way I could get IVIG because of new healthcare laws. He told me patients were going to be required to pay up front and all about a death panel who would be making life/death decisions about patients that suited their bottom line.