Although the goal of the health reform acts is to increase the number of people who have health insurance so that more people will have access to hospitals, there are potential problems. Of course, the goal is an excellent one. Georgia has a high number of people who lack Georgia health insurance benefits. Increasing the number of Georgia residents who own Georgia health insurance is certainly beneficial to the state’s residents. The health reform acts hope to decrease the number of people who do not have Georgia health insurance and need charity care, and to increase the number of people who go into the medical community with Georgia health insurance, and therefore paying for services.
One concern, however, is the timing. When more people have Georgia health insurance benefits, certainly more people will be going to hospitals and physicians’ offices. However, there may not yet be an increase in staff at hospitals or an increase in the number of Georgia physicians. Therefore, this may result in long waiting times, or unavailable doctors. There may be a shortage of doctors and nurses, once all Georgia residents are required to have Georgia health insurance plans, as stated in the health reform acts.
On the other hand, this shortage could lead to more collaboration among hospitals and specialists and physicians. There may need to be improved communication, and better efficiency in working together. It is also a hope that more people look at medical professions. Still, this is a definite possible problem that may be looming ahead for Georgia. This could particularly affect hospitals, such as Grady, which has been providing care for people without Georgia health insurance for a long time.
It is expected that hospitals and medical offices that have been helping those without Georgia health insurance will benefit more from the reform changes. These hospitals have already been providing millions of dollars worth of uncompensated care. With more people who have Georgia health insurance, these hospitals and medical offices will now be compensated for more care. However, hospitals have agreed to pay into the government as part of the health reform. Some hospitals think the increase in patients with Georgia health insurance benefits will offset the monies they have to pay to the health care plan. But others worry that the cuts and the need for additional staff will happen, before the increase in patients with Georgia health insurance benefits. This is a definite possibility, and cause for concern.
If there is an increase in patients with Georgia health insurance and a shortage of doctors and nurses to handle this increase, this could cause problems for patients. There could be longer and longer waits to see physicians. Also, a lot of services and work could start to be provided by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The government is offering bonus payments to doctors who continue to see Medicaid patients, even though there are going to be a lot of Medicaid cuts. More people with Georgia health insurance does mean more patients in doctors’ offices.
So, everyone is working together to ensure that the increase in patients with Georgia health insurance results in positive changes across the board. There are possible problems, but hospitals, insurance companies, and the government are working to avoid these.
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