The Topsy-Turvy World of Healthcare Legislation

It's hard to go a day without seeing healthcare in the news. From the results of the newest studies to major changes in federal regulations, it seems like there's a new development every day that totally changes the way we look at our healthcare. Have your patients been asking you about changes to their care? Are they worried about accessing preventive care? About the status of a pre-existing condition? Losing coverage under a parent's plan? What about telehealth? These questions can be hard to answer. 

It's no secret that there's recently been quite a bit of uncertainty in the healthcare landscape, and it's hard to know how things will continue to unfold in the future. Under the Affordable Care Act, many patients were given access to preventive care. Now that the House of Representatives has voted to repeal the ACA, and have proposed an alternative piece of legislation, the status of that provision is unclear. It's likely that the bill passed by the House will undergo considerable changes in the Senate, but what will stay and what will go is anyone's guess. Some patients will be more affected than others, and a lot of factors make it pretty complicated to stay on top of! 

But, there are some concrete steps we can take! One of the most important things you can do as a practitioner is remain in contact with your patients and encourage them to remain in contact with their insurance companies. If either of you suspects that a patient's coverage may be altered due to recent changes, don't ever hesitate to reach out to his plan. Or, better yet, request an updated eligibility check from Healthy Bytes. Our team will contact the patient's plan and check the eligibility and benefits. Oftentimes, we're able to get more accurate information, because we check specific diagnosis codes and use your NPI to get the proper in- or out-of-network benefits. We can also get up-to-date accumulations toward deductibles, maximums and visit limits.

And remember, it's okay if you don't know the answers to your patient's questions right on the spot. Unfortunately, that very well may start to happen in the coming months. If you can't answer right away, promise them you'll look into it and reach back out. It may be a good idea to ask your patients about any specific concerns they may have and offer to provide resources that break these changes down for them. And, sometimes, the only answer is to tell them that the landscape is still developing. It can be tricky to stay on top of all these changes, which is why Healthy Bytes is carefully monitoring developments in insurance and healthcare legislation. Keep an eye out for our weekly newsletters and blog posts-- as we spot new developments, we'll let you know what they mean for you and your practice!