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Feb 21, 201309:29 AMOpen for Business

with Jody Glynn Patrick

The Affordable Care Act: Quick answers from IB

(page 2 of 2)

Was Wisconsin’s decision, made by Gov. Walker, to sidestep the obligation (or opportunity) to create a state exchange a wise decision for taxpayers or an irresponsible dodge at the expense of area medical providers who wanted a voice at the table? I’ll leave it to the experts at our roundtable to answer that one in our March issue.

Not getting In Business magazine? I’m offering a free three-year subscription to the first 100 people to email our subscription office; this is the time for everyone – employees as well as employers – to learn as much as you can about the Affordable Care Act, and since we’ll be following the news and resources, I’ll foot the cost (with our advertisers) of plugging you in. Subscribe today at no cost, if you do it quickly!

Also, another word to the (already) wise: I invited three panelists to the roundtable to expressly represent business viewpoints, and I’d like to share their resource information. If you don’t already have a champion in the arena, this is a great opportunity to consider joining these organizations as a member. It’s really an investment rather than a cost, when it comes to having someone explain your obligations and fight for your business today. Cheryl DeMars represented The Alliance, Bill Smith represented the National Federation of Independent Business (Wisconsin), and Zach Brandon represented The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, our thanks go out to the other esteemed panelists who represented provider viewpoints: St. Mary’s Hospital President Dr. Frank Byrne, and Dr. Bob Turngren, president and CEO of Meriter Medical Group, Meriter Health Services.

Sign up for the free IB Update – your weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. Click hereIf you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.

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Feb 21, 2013 01:53 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I think you will find that unless those choosing to be uninsured until they get sick happen to get sick during an open enrollment period, they will be unable to purchase insurance until the next open enrollment period. Insurance companies will not be inclined or required to sign up anyone except during open enrollment periods or upon disclosure of a qualifying event, such as coming off of a parent's plan, or exiting the military. So the person, who waits to become ill had better time the illness right or risk paying for care without the benefit of insurance until the next enrollment period.

Feb 21, 2013 03:32 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Some of the things no one talks about (because lobbyists on the left and right are not interested) but the business community should be aware of are:

1)Walker's changes to Medicaid reduce the upper end of the eligibility scale- this will probably toss a higher percentage of low income families off Badgercare in higher cost of living areas like tDane County(and Milwaukee) than the rest of the state. As high as they are we actually have lower insurance rates than the rest of the state- we may see an extra boost as Medicaid recipients lose coverage and end up on charity care whose cost is transferred to the rest of us in higher premiums.

2) The most interesting part of the Affordable Care Act and usually ignored (and which needs an advocate) are the efforts to reduce medical errors and increase quality. Some of this is being done through the UW , some of it is based on interesting mixing of industrial enrgineering and Quality Improvement processes with medicine. Had lunch a few weekends ago with a geriatrician working in Rhode Island- using some simple processes (involving high tech tools like pencils and paper) they reduced emnergency room visits, unneeded follow up visits, etc, 30%

Errors by the way are not tied to income or age. I use a CPAP machine- several years ago my health care provider bid out their contract on the machines and maintenance- changed over all of us. The worker at the company forget a simple piece from my machine - end result was a year of breathing C02 instead of oxygen. In your 50's it is hard to prove damages from that but it could cause early dementia and lots of costs 10 years out- that simple error could be several hundred thousands of additional care - and no one knows how many of the machines were assembled locally without that part.

So I would like to see some coverage that goes beyond the obvious oft repeated slogans and also acknowledges that our health runs on different principles than the rest of our economy

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