Summary: The ACA seeks to increase the quality of care while simultaneously reduce cost. One provision which accomplishes both is preventive care.
In keeping with the holiday traditions, we thought it would be fun to focus on the 12 days of Obamacare. As such,
On the third day of Obamacare, Obama gave to me:
And an Individual Mandate
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed with two main goals in mind: increase quality and decrease costs. Therefore, each provision addresses one or both of these goals, preferably in tandem or in conjunction with one another. Preventive care certainly addresses both of these goals. Preventive care is designed to detect and treat illnesses and conditions earlier in the process by providing wellness initiatives which are neither subject to a copay nor coinsurance, providing the provider is considered “in network”. Chronic diseases are of special interest as they can be very costly and individuals can and do have more than one chronic disease. Early diagnosis and treatment can limit the severity of the condition(s), reduce the overall treatment time, and substantially reduce treatment costs. Chronic conditions include such illnesses as: mental health, substance abuse, asthma, diabetes, heart disease and being overweight.
By concentrating on the causes of chronic disease, the ACA helps move a nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on wellness and prevention.
Preventive Care for Adults
Some of the more common preventive services for adults include:
Alcohol Misuse Screening and Counseling
Aspirin Use to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Blood Pressure Screening
Immunization Vaccines Such as for the Flu or Measles
Obesity Screening and Counseling
Tobacco Use Screening
Preventive Care for Women:
The ACA goes a step further and has specific preventive care for women. Some of these services include:
Breast Cancer Genetic Test Counseling (BRCA)
Cervical Cancer Screening
Hepatitis B Screening
Human Papillomavirus DNA Test
Urinary Tract or Other Infection Screening
Preventive Health Services for Children
To round out the ACA requirements for at least the marketplace plans, there are several services that are specific to children that are considered preventive. Some of these services include:
Blood pressure screening
Fluoride chemoprevention supplements
Height, weight and body mass index measurements
Oral health risk assessment
Preventive care addresses both cost containment and quality, which are the two main thrusts of the ACA. Preventive care shifts focus from reactive to proactive and from sickness and disease to wellness and prevention. By focusing on the quality of care, cost containment should be accomplished in the long run, especially with a critical focus upon chronic diseases, such as obesity and heart disease. As Benjamin Franklin said so eloquently, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
To find out more on the ACA, please download our “Affordable Care Act in a Nutshell” white paper by clicking below.