If you haven't spoken to your doctor since January 1, 2014. You may want to reach out to them and make sure they are still your doctor. One of the good things about the Affordable Care Act is millions of new patients getting healthcare insurance for the first time. An unfortunate and unintended consequence is that there are now more patients and still the same amount of doctors.
According to Kathy Park, there is some shocking news about a potential doctor shortage:
"We have an aging population, we will have more people who have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and both of those point to a greater demand in health services," said Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan, professor of health policy at George Washington University School of Public Health.
"There's no doubt that as the ACA becomes more effective and more people are covered, the first stop for most people will be primary care. They need a check-up, they need someone to examine this ache or that pain," said Mullan.
So thinking about the previous question, "What does a shortage of doctors have to do with me?" we must think a bit deeper for the answer, and how it affects us. The first thing we need to think of...
Longer wait times to see my doctor -If more people are getting healthcare and can only see the same amount of doctors, that means wait times between seeing your doctor will be longer.
The next thing we can think of....
Doctors switching health plans - Some doctors because of the Affordable Care Act are switching healthcare plans. While this happens time to time, because of the recent legislation, some doctors are completely switching or even leaving the insurance aside and switching to an a la carte type healthcare.
Lastly, what if we are forced to switch doctors?
In order to make this transition less painful, it's important for us to be prepared, especially since the healthcare industry is constantly changing (sometimes daily). The Affordable Care Act gives the us the opportunity to become aware of our own medical story and how to take control of it.
Do you know your medical story? If you couldn't see your doctor tomorrow, would you be able to accurately explain everything to your new doctor or nurse practicioner? CareSync will help you understand your medical story. Click below to learn more.