The Act, otherwise, referred to as Obamacare is intended to provide millions of uninsured Americans with affordable healthcare services. However, from a business perspective, the Act has a number of repercussions on both the non-profit and for profit organizations that engage in the provision of healthcare in America. This paper shall discuss the aspects in relation to the recommended Accountable Care Organizations’ approach as opposed to the service based payment approach. The former is intended to change the manner in which payment for healthcare services would be managed with the spirit being to concentrate on the quality rather than the quantity as has been the case traditionally.
The impact of the Accountable Care Organization approach is not necessarily different for the profit organizations and the non-profit organizations. However, it is essential to appreciate the fact that the approach concentrates more on the quality of the service and not the quantity. In that context, it is imperative to appreciate the relative decrease in the profits that would be realized. The previous method, based on the quantity of service was costly on the patients but ensured more profits on the organization since the base for payment was the quantity of service offered. However, this approach would base the payment system on the health outcomes and may disregard the procedures and tests necessarily performed. This approach has the overall impact of reducing the organizational profits. It is intended to instill an inclusive coordinated approach to the treatment and healthcare delivery. In that vein, the main difference in terms of impacts on for profit organizations and non-profit organization is that while the former would feel the reduction in the profits figures, the latter would feel no change as their approach traditionally disregards profits.
The Act demands of the financial management staff some core responsibilities. Foremost, it is essential to appreciate the fact that the federal Act is being backed at state levels with state laws to oversee its (Federal Act) successful implementation. In that context, close to seventeen states have already enacted the statutes to aid in the full implementation. In addition, the Federal Government has rolled out the navigator program. In this program, the hospitals and other healthcare organizations are expected to roll out programs intended to enroll the citizens into Obamacare services. Ideally, the Act would take full effect in 2015 when all Americans are expected to be able to access healthcare services. In fact, the federal government donated 67 million dollars to the healthcare organizations for purposes of implementing the navigator program. This has posed special responsibilities and change in perspective on the part of the financial management staff. It is expected that the financial management staff conform to the letter of the laws, both at the federal and state levels. In addition, the management must embrace the Accountable Care Organization approach that seeks to instill a coordinated and structured system to healthcare delivery. The financial management concern remains largely financial. The management’s responsibility, therefore, squarely lies on matters of financial propriety and prudence. It must ensure that the organizational framework and operational layout conforms to the financial prudence concepts enunciated in the Act. In addition, it needs to strike a balance between the public interests and the profit interest of the organization concerned. In that context, the enormous responsibility lies in practicing fidelity to the law even in the wake of loopholes as the implementation of Obamacare is commenced.
In the context of the Act and the embraced Accountable Care Organization approach, basic principles and rules suffice. Some of these rules shall be discussed in this ensuing section. One, the financial management must ensure that the funds received from the Federal Government under the navigator program are utilized for the intended purpose. It is imperative to conform to the accounting standards and consequently provide transparent and honest financial reports on the use of the funds. In that vein, one outstanding norm that is anticipated entails the return of any of the unused funds. Secondly, the accountants must redefine their systems so as to conform to the Accountable Care Organization approach that is sensitive to the health outcomes rather that the quantity of services. In that vein, billing rules must be redesigned so as to reflect on the quality of services delivered. In addition, it is essential to develop better versions of programs that would facilitate records management, coordination and structured delivery of healthcare services and efficiency in delivery. In that vein, the imperative remains with the financial management staff to use their budgetary techniques in the interest of all these demands. Ultimately, the successful implementation of the Act entails a combined approach that is all inclusive of the main stakeholders. The financial management staff as stakeholders must ensure that their roles are effectively dispensed and that no systemic problems are occasioned because of their mal-performance. In the long run, the Act needs to be embraced for its spirit at healthcare reforms which the United States of America badly deserves.
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