OBAMACARE AFFECTS DOCTORS

Obamacare has affected doctors in many ways. An article in the Tuesday 3rd 2017, issue of the New York Times addressed the doctors part in Obamacare. While doctors have always tried to understand the challenges and struggles of their patients. With Obamacare for the doctors the bottom line now is results.

The New York Times article tells of a doctor who has a diabetic patient, who admits that he is once again drinking large amounts of soda. The man’s diabetes is uncontrolled and he has high blood pressure. This man who shares his diet failures with the doctor has no idea how this is affecting his doctor.

Doctors and hospitals are now rewarded or penalized based on their performance. This man who is non-compliant with his diet could potentially cost the doctor money. If too many of his patients fall below standards set by the doctor’s health care provider, he could lose pay directly tied to outcomes. That could be any patient who¬†doesn’t follow the guidelines put out by the health care provider.

These guidelines as suggested by the article could be; not taking advantage of free health club memberships, not taking medication as prescribed, not using medical equipment, not complying with recommended vaccinations and not following diet guidelines. The bottom line could be the doctor telling his patient, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to be your physician.”

A doctor I know of, screens all of his potential patients with the question, “Do you smoke?” If the answer is yes, it is pretty clear, this doctor will not accept this smoker as a patient. The smoking patient is obviously going to result in very expensive care at some future time. As with the diabetic patient, the smoker will have significant struggles trying to stop smoking. Too many smokers fail to quit and the doctor is not willing to take a chance.

Keeping Obamacare or repealing, it really would be in everyone’s interest to bring physicians into the conversation.

Virginia Garberding RN

Certified in Gerontology and Restorative Nursing

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