Tag: Affordable Care Act

Healthcare Law Means Changes for Nurse Management Jobs

Would it surprise you to know that President Obama’s health care law goes well beyond simply providing insurance to those who don’t have it? Indeed, the Affordable Care Act (affectionately known as ObamaCare) contains an entire litany of new regulations that will affect everything from who receives care to how services are bought and paid for.

A good example of the burdensome regulations applies directly to nurse management jobs. There is a provision in the law requiring medical facilities to allow breaks for employees who are also nursing mothers, in order to allow them time to express milk. For a nurse manager this presents a whole new set of problems.

For instance, the law states breaks must be “reasonable” in terms of length. But who decides what “reasonable” is? If one nursing mother can express her milk in 15 minutes while another takes 30, there will be questions about fairness and equal time. Then there’s the question of workers who have babies brought to the workplace to nurse rather than expressing milk and putting it in the refrigerator.

Just this one little regulation is already causing a lot of headaches for nurse managers. It provides further evidence that the health care overhaul is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Nurse Management Jobs Still Worthwhile

Despite the changes in the healthcare regulations, don’t be discouraged if you want to get into the healthcare field. Nurse management jobs are still very attractive for a variety of reasons. They offer excellent pay, a good working environment, and room for professional advancement.

Furthermore, working as a nurse manager brings with it a measure of personal satisfaction by being able to help make the lives of patients better. By your willingness to put your best foot forward your nursing staff will be encouraged to do the same and your patients will benefit.

You and Your Staff

To excel as a nurse manager requires a way of thinking that’s slightly different from what you did as an active floor nurse. In other words, before moving into management your primary focus was your patients. As a nurse manager you’re still focused on patient care, but you’re more focused on your staff as the vehicle to provide that care.

Nurse management jobs are therefore more about encouraging the success of your staff. When you’re nurses are doing well, so will your patients. When your nurses are not performing up to standards patient care will suffer.

Nurse Managers also have the added responsibility of representing their staff before upper management and other members of the healthcare team. This requires a certain amount advocacy which some nurse managers find difficult. Nonetheless, it’s part of building a solid team.

In the United States there is currently a significant shortage of nurses and nurse managers. There are nurse management jobs available in big cities, small towns, and through temporary staffing agencies. If you’re qualified and want to work, it’s out there for the taking.

Two useful options for saving money on your employees healthcare costs

In today’s business world employers all across the county are struggling with the decisions of how to operate as lean as possible without taking away anything from their employees. With regards to an employers retirees there are some options that organizations can use to help offset some of the costs. Two important and helpful programs that an employer should look into that help save money on healthcare costs are theRetiree Drug Subsidy Program (RDS) and the Early Retiree Reimbursement Program (ERRP)

In 2005 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) program. What the program does is reimburse municipalities, unions and private employers for a portion of their eligible expenses for retiree prescription drug benefits. Over the years employers have slowly but steadily cut back on their prescription drug coverage for retirees. CMS introduced this program with the goal of encouraging employers to continue providing high-quality prescription drug coverage to their retirees. The nice part about this program is that it is very straightforward and there is usually little to no benefit design changes to current coverage.

Another more recent, yet temporary program that is offered to employers to help with healthcare costs is the Early Retiree Reimbursement Program. The Program was established by the Affordable Care Act, which was a part of the Healthcare Reform Bill passed in early 2010. The program provides $5 billion in financial assistance to employers to help them maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare. The program will reimburse employers 80 percent of all medical costs per retiree, which includes their spouses and dependents. The cost must however be between the $15,000-$90,000 worth of expenses. Employers can use the savings to either reduce their own health care costs, provide premium relief to their workers and families or a combination of both.

Figuring out how to operate efficiently and effectively without cutting into employee benefits is a real challenge. It is becoming even more important in this economy to continue to search out and explore any available option for your organization that keeps it competitive and keeps your employees happy. There are options out there that are meant to help employers save money, for answers to questions about these programs visit rdsservices.us.

Some Myths about Federal Health Care Reform or Obamacare.

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka ACA) became federal law in March of 2010, there were many assumptions about what the law would and would not do. As everyone knows, it has become known simply as “Obamacare,” because President Obama was the one who wanted health care reform. Here are some misconceptions about health care reform.

One of the first statements made was that the new law was tantamount to “a government takeover of healthcare.” For this to be true, the government would need to inform every citizen that they were being enrolled in a federal healthcare program, sort of like Medicare, which is a federal health care program for any qualifying citizen or permanent resident over the age of 65. In fact, there is no federal alternative to private health insurance today. Since most if not all health insurance companies that were doing business in 2010 are still insuring millions of policyholders today, it is safe to say that there has not been a government takeover of healthcare. It is also true however, that many people would like to see that happen. They would love to see Medicare expanded to include everyone; but that is very unlikely for many years to come, if ever.

“Medicare benefits will be reduced.” Actually the opposite has happened. Medicare now covers annual physical exams and colonoscopies in addition to the quite comprehensive benefits they have long provided. It is true that premium costs to Medicare beneficiaries will go up in future years, but medical costs and premiums have been rising steadily for decades, and seniors do use more medical services than people under 65.

There will be government “death panels” that will make end-of-life decisions for people on Medicare. This idea was borne out of a well-intended provision in the health care bill that would have helped pay for the end-of-life planning discussion cost that the elderly already have with their physicians and caregivers. So a good thing became a bad thing. Now there can be no provisions in Medicare for this benefit which, ironically, hurts seniors and can actually adds to the cost of health care.

Illegal immigrants will now be covered. The ACA specifically prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving coverage.

What is not known is the true long-term cost of this legislation. There are many people on both sides of the argument, time will tell what the real cost will be, and there are many components of this program still to be implemented. The truth about health care is that it is expensive no matter where you are. Canada, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, China.

All of these countries have some form of government provided health care and while it is less expensive per-capita than in the United States, it is expensive nonetheless. The common element of all health care programs is that every citizen or legal permanent resident is covered. The cost of care per person is far lower when everyone is covered.
What needs to be understood about health care is that every person at some point will seek it out when they need it. Whether or not they have health insurance is not a factor when there is a need for treatment. If a person cannot afford car insurance they have the option of not driving, and few people drive without car insurance. Not so with health insurance, and the situation is made worse by the fact that uninsured people often ignore minor medical issues because of the cost. Unfortunately those minor medical issues have a way of becoming serious, and that is when the uninsured seek care. And where do they go to get treatment then? The emergency room, which happens to be the most expensive entry point into the entire health care system in the U.S. They go there because federal law prohibits hospitals from turning away anyone during a medical emergency.

This is a huge factor in the cost of health insurance, and a major reason why health insurance premiums have risen far in excess of the CPI over the past 30 years. Until that part of the health insurance equation is resolved the cost of insurance will continue to be out of reach for millions of Americans.

In summary, the cost of delivering health care in the U.S. is not going to go away as an issue. The debate over the number of uninsured and whether or not they should be covered, public vs. private insurance, and who pays for all of this will go on until our politicians realize that there is no one best solution. All sides will have to agree that there will always be some elements of a common health care system that not everyone will like. There are many elements of the Affordable Care Act which work, and those elements need to be preserved. Many insurers who initially opposed the Act have since re-tooled their benefit and pricing models to reflect the major objectives of the program. The irony here is that abolishing the ACA would actually increase the cost of coverage as insurers once again had to redesign their policies and coverage. What is needed most of all is a system that works reasonably well and covers everyone or nearly everyone. In the long run, the cost of excluding millions of uninsured will cost more than covering them.

Some Myths about Federal Health Care Reform or Obamacare.

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka ACA) became federal law in March of 2010, there were many assumptions about what the law would and would not do. As everyone knows, it has become known simply as “Obamacare,” because President Obama was the one who wanted health care reform. Here are some misconceptions about health care reform.

One of the first statements made was that the new law was tantamount to “a government takeover of healthcare.” For this to be true, the government would need to inform every citizen that they were being enrolled in a federal healthcare program, sort of like Medicare, which is a federal health care program for any qualifying citizen or permanent resident over the age of 65. In fact, there is no federal alternative to private health insurance today. Since most if not all health insurance companies that were doing business in 2010 are still insuring millions of policyholders today, it is safe to say that there has not been a government takeover of healthcare. It is also true however, that many people would like to see that happen. They would love to see Medicare expanded to include everyone; but that is very unlikely for many years to come, if ever.

“Medicare benefits will be reduced.” Actually the opposite has happened. Medicare now covers annual physical exams and colonoscopies in addition to the quite comprehensive benefits they have long provided. It is true that premium costs to Medicare beneficiaries will go up in future years, but medical costs and premiums have been rising steadily for decades, and seniors do use more medical services than people under 65.

There will be government “death panels” that will make end-of-life decisions for people on Medicare. This idea was borne out of a well-intended provision in the health care bill that would have helped pay for the end-of-life planning discussion cost that the elderly already have with their physicians and caregivers. So a good thing became a bad thing. Now there can be no provisions in Medicare for this benefit which, ironically, hurts seniors and can actually adds to the cost of health care.

Illegal immigrants will now be covered. The ACA specifically prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving coverage.

What is not known is the true long-term cost of this legislation. There are many people on both sides of the argument, time will tell what the real cost will be, and there are many components of this program still to be implemented. The truth about health care is that it is expensive no matter where you are. Canada, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, China.

All of these countries have some form of government provided health care and while it is less expensive per-capita than in the United States, it is expensive nonetheless. The common element of all health care programs is that every citizen or legal permanent resident is covered. The cost of care per person is far lower when everyone is covered.
What needs to be understood about health care is that every person at some point will seek it out when they need it. Whether or not they have health insurance is not a factor when there is a need for treatment. If a person cannot afford car insurance they have the option of not driving, and few people drive without car insurance. Not so with health insurance, and the situation is made worse by the fact that uninsured people often ignore minor medical issues because of the cost. Unfortunately those minor medical issues have a way of becoming serious, and that is when the uninsured seek care. And where do they go to get treatment then? The emergency room, which happens to be the most expensive entry point into the entire health care system in the U.S. They go there because federal law prohibits hospitals from turning away anyone during a medical emergency.

This is a huge factor in the cost of health insurance, and a major reason why health insurance premiums have risen far in excess of the CPI over the past 30 years. Until that part of the health insurance equation is resolved the cost of insurance will continue to be out of reach for millions of Americans.

In summary, the cost of delivering health care in the U.S. is not going to go away as an issue. The debate over the number of uninsured and whether or not they should be covered, public vs. private insurance, and who pays for all of this will go on until our politicians realize that there is no one best solution. All sides will have to agree that there will always be some elements of a common health care system that not everyone will like. There are many elements of the Affordable Care Act which work, and those elements need to be preserved. Many insurers who initially opposed the Act have since re-tooled their benefit and pricing models to reflect the major objectives of the program. The irony here is that abolishing the ACA would actually increase the cost of coverage as insurers once again had to redesign their policies and coverage. What is needed most of all is a system that works reasonably well and covers everyone or nearly everyone. In the long run, the cost of excluding millions of uninsured will cost more than covering them.