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Panel: Health care reform could create access problems

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While health care reform could result in things such as more preventive care, the influx of people to private and public programs could create serious access issues, a panel of experts said Thursday.

Medical College of Georgia President Dr. Ricardo Azziz (second from right) speaks at a health forum at Augusta State University.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Medical College of Georgia President Dr. Ricardo Azziz (second from right) speaks at a health forum at Augusta State University.

While there might be short-term problems, the long-term result might be better quality at less cost, some said.

In a forum organized by Augusta State University Hull College of Business, a panel of hospital executives, physicians and insurance providers debated the merits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed earlier this year.

For instance, the act increases Medicaid eligibility that will result in an estimated 550,000 more people being added to the rolls in 2014. That will increase to 650,000 by 2020, said Dr. Jerry Dubberly, the chief of the Medicaid Division in the Georgia Department of Community Health. While the federal government will initially cover 90 percent of the additional cost of the increased enrollment, it will result in about $2.5 billion in additional state expenditures.

"That number is staggering," Dubberly said.

Medicare and Medicaid already do not meet the costs of providing care, which can mean a shifting of costs onto private insurers who would pay about 30 percent more, said Christopher Champlain, an individual sales representative for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia.

"The private sector essentially funds the public sector," he said.

Should reimbursements change drastically, that could impact access to care in the private sector, said Medical College of Georgia President Ricardo Azziz.

"Physicians will vote with their feet," he said.

This could be compounded by an expected shortage of 60,000 physicians by 2015, said Dr. Stanley Smith, an internal medicine and diabetes specialist with University Medical Associates of Augusta.

"You've got a huge demand and a very small supply," he said.

The onus will be on hospitals and physicians to find new ways to do business, particularly when there will be more public measures of quality of care for comparison, said C. Shayne George, the CEO of Doctors Hospital.

"We're going to have to provide more care with less reimbursement," he said. The key will be partnering and aligning with physicians and with other providers, George said.

"Complete networks that are aligned, with the physicians and the hospitals working together to improve outcomes of care and reduce costs, that's definitely going to be a big, big portion of this," he said.

The end result of this could ultimately be better health when the care is delivered, and the health care systems will have to find innovative new ways to do business, Azziz said.

"At the end of the day, these are our citizens and our community," he said.

Health care accounts for 24.5 percent of employment in the Augusta area, which is above the state and national average, said Dr. Simon Medcalfe, an assistant professor of finance at ASU.

"Whatever the impact is, it's going to be magnified here in Augusta because of the outsized presence of health care in the local economy," he said.

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TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 11/18/10 - 11:32 am
0
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Perhaps this "world class
Unpublished

Perhaps this "world class care" has been overpriced for TOO long. That's why a lot of people can't afford it without assistance. This Healthcare act has been passed for a while- and the healthcare industry KNEW it was coming (whether you like it or not). They should have started planning for the influx of new enrollees so that there is enough staff to cover the new patients.

ameliaf
0
Points
ameliaf 11/18/10 - 12:07 pm
0
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The reforms that will be

The reforms that will be induced through the new health care law are the reforms that should have been happening long since.

It is not news that there is a shortage of doctors and nurses. We have known that for many years. What we haven't done is do anything about it.

How? We need to subsidize the education of primary care doctors who will practice in Georgia. We needed to expand the number of doctors trained at the Medical College. Instead of expanding that fine institution, we are going to spend a lot more to build a bigger medical school in Athens. Well, done is done but at least the state is expanding capacity to educate doctors.

I think doctors and hospitals are going to expand the roles of nurse practitioners and other medical service workers who can do more. We need the legislature to stay alert to changes needed in laws that allow that expansion to occur.

we also need to expand the information available to consumers so they can shop health care. It is not easy to get cost information on procedures and drugs. Make it easier by requiring health care providers to publish costs in a way that is accessible and comparative.

Come on folks. For years, all the gab has been about how to make the market open to the provider side of things. Now, in order to have an efficient market, we need to assure the consumer has access to the information that makes the capitalist model work.

Little Lamb
48963
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Little Lamb 11/18/10 - 12:10 pm
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From the article above, we

From the article above, we read:

Christopher Champlain, individual sales representative for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, said "The private sector essentially funds the public sector."

That's the way it always has been, is now, and will be forevermore. Governments create nothing. Only private initiative creates wealth.

carcraft
28446
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carcraft 11/18/10 - 12:12 pm
0
0
Oh yes this is going to be

Oh yes this is going to be great. Where will Georgia find the 2.5 billion required to fund this garbage when Georgia is already running in the red? Oh don't worry we will just print the money like the federal government! How will Georgia pay for the aditional funding to creat more class rooms, recruite more medical educators, provide more lab space etc. Oh I know we will wave the magic Obama wand and it will happen-You know, like closing GITMO...LOL

soldout
1283
Points
soldout 11/18/10 - 12:58 pm
0
0
For me and a lot of others

For me and a lot of others this is a non-problem. We have found alternative care to be far superior, cheaper and better all around. Alternative care reduces the need for regular care by 80%. It tends to fix things rather than to contol a problem with a drug and it's side effects. I have studied alternative care as a hobby for 35 years and we now have some excellent choices in the CSRA. Just adding the alternatives newsletter from Dr. David Williams and getting Dr. Mercola's free email newsletter will start a person saving money on health care before you even search out the folks in this area doing alternative care. If we took drug advertising off TV the doctor demand would go down. We are far too aware of sickness and not aware of the healing power within our body. I am not against doctors and use them when needed but think their approach to disease is entirely different than what I have learned. The drug companies tend to create a drug and then create a need for it with cholesterol medicine being a great example. Everyone taking that drug is losing mental ability per recent study and for many their cholesterol is much too low. More folks go to emergency rooms with heart attacks having low cholesterol rather than high. I know I get attacked when I make these kinds of comments but it's my opinon based on 35 years of reading, watching and helping people and everyone makes their own decision on these things. May you all be blessed with good health.

kmb413
533
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kmb413 11/18/10 - 01:41 pm
0
0
You cannot make someone 'want

You cannot make someone 'want to be a doctor'. Additional funding to schools will allow those underpriveleged persons who 'want to be a doctor' to attend school.

Is there going to be funding for more faculty and staff at medical colleges to support the influx of new students as well? Will our tax money be used for that in support of all the other things in the new health care bill as well?

I have a nagging thought as I go to the doctor in the future that the person who graduated last in the class is still called doctor.

kmb413
533
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kmb413 11/18/10 - 01:42 pm
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0
*note, I am not saying the

*note, I am not saying the underpriveleged student will graduate last in the class.

Little Lamb
48963
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Little Lamb 11/18/10 - 01:19 pm
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The article said: . . . an

The article said:

. . . an expected shortage of 60,000 physicians by 2015, said Dr. Stanley Smith, an internal medicine and diabetes specialist with University Medical Associates of Augusta.

Well, they've dumbed down primary, secondary, and college educations. Might as well dumb down medical education as well. That will ease the shortage.

Little Lamb
48963
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Little Lamb 11/18/10 - 01:21 pm
0
0
When the privileged elite

When the privileged elite start talking among themselves, the ideas can get really fuzzy:

The end result of this could ultimately be better health when the care is delivered and the health care system will have to find innovative new ways to do business, Azziz said.

Spoken like a true educrat.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 11/18/10 - 01:30 pm
0
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Get ready to stand in line

Get ready to stand in line for healthcare. That way we can sit in the waiting room for 3 hours now instead of 1 - all the time cross infecting each other with every cold, virus & flu strain known to man.

Even Medicare Director, Don Berwick is now saying that healthcare will need to be rationed. Question is, rationed against who? the elderly? the very sick? the very young? Who decides who gets and who gets not?

Oh, and if you are going to sell anything on ebay or at a yard sales or pawn shop, do it this year. Starting in 2011 the new healthcare bill will TAX you on items you sell over $600 (even if you paid $1000 originally for the item).

This bill is a total, utter disaster.

dichotomy
37416
Points
dichotomy 11/18/10 - 01:37 pm
0
0
Taxpayers, bend over 'cause

Taxpayers, bend over 'cause here it comes. Nothing about Obamacare is going to "drive down" the cost of healthcare. Between the rise in the cost of health insurance and the rise in your state taxes to fund the $2.5 billion (to start with) shortage for Medicaid the working taxpayer will be paying, at a minimum, twice what their healthcare costs would have been before Obamacare got rammed down our throats. And guess what. Doctor availability is just another commodity. What happens to the prices of commodities when there is a shortage? THE PRICES GO UP UP UP.....not down. The end costs to the taxpayers will be ginormous and the quality and availability of healthcare will go down. Welcome to Canada. I feel sorry for the Canadians. Where will they go now to get healthcare in a timely matter with the latest medicines and procedure? It sure won't be here. I see a Mexican doctor in their future.

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 11/18/10 - 01:40 pm
0
0
I still cannot believe that

I still cannot believe that people think this is really free health care. Obamacare premium is higher than my private insurance, the deductible is 5x as high as mine.

ReformedRepub
0
Points
ReformedRepub 11/18/10 - 02:26 pm
0
0
Maybe if they cut out the

Maybe if they cut out the high priced administrators, the millionaire CEOs and planned for the future they could handle it. Or maybe if their care had been priced so that EVERYONE could afford it, they'd have all these patients now. I always was taught that more business meant lower costs and good profit. greed conquers all.....

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 11/18/10 - 02:27 pm
0
0
kmb413 - You wrore: I have a

kmb413 - You wrore:

I have a nagging thought as I go to the doctor in the future that the person who graduated last in the class is still called doctor.

Do you have a nagging thought every time you cross a bridge - knowing the bridge was built buy the cheapest labor.

dani
13
Points
dani 11/18/10 - 02:28 pm
0
0
truckin...". This Healthcare

truckin...". This Healthcare act has been passed for a while- and the healthcare industry KNEW it was coming (whether you like it or not). They should have started planning for the influx of new enrollees so that there is enough staff to cover the new patients."

Actually this should have been thought about by Congress before they approved this mess. It takes years to become a doctor (or nurse).

Well..Pelosi said pass it so we would know what is in it. Now we have a better idea but much more will come. This is not even a ripple in the sea.

dani
13
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dani 11/18/10 - 02:39 pm
0
0
kmb..Yes. What an

kmb..Yes. What an opportunity for the quack doctors...clinics on evey corner.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 11/18/10 - 02:48 pm
0
0
Expect the supply of health

Expect the supply of health care services to be a little restrained at the beginning of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), called Obamacare for short. But more money will cause the supply to grow. Verify that that in Economics 101. Health care providers can get just as resourceful as the providers of financial services. Maybe they can lump groups together and spray them with something.

Little Lamb
48963
Points
Little Lamb 11/18/10 - 02:44 pm
0
0
Or maybe they could group

Or maybe they could group lumps together and spray them with something.

Little Lamb
48963
Points
Little Lamb 11/18/10 - 02:55 pm
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Gas Spring wrote: Do you have

Gas Spring wrote:

Do you have a nagging thought every time you cross a bridge - knowing the bridge was built buy the cheapest labor?

Watch out! The last time Juan Williams mentioned something about "nagging thoughts," he lost his job. I believe the original quote was something like this:

Does it ever give you pause to realize as you cross a magnificent bridge that it was designed and built by the lowest bidder?

Well, we in Augusta should be able to rest easy, because, thanks to Procurement Director Geri Sams, our bridges were not built by the lowest bidder, but by much higher-priced bidders who are croneys and relatives of Sams and her friends on the commission.

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 11/18/10 - 03:14 pm
0
0
Do you have a nagging thought

Do you have a nagging thought every time you cross a bridge - knowing the bridge was built buy the cheapest labor.

Not so much about bridges, but yes about airplanes. There aren't that many high bridges to cross in Augusta.

Would you want a surgeon operating on you that was 'pushed' through the system in order to make quotas?

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 11/18/10 - 04:03 pm
0
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kmb413 - Well if he doesn't

kmb413 - Well if he doesn't cut very deep ....

corgimom
38318
Points
corgimom 11/18/10 - 05:03 pm
0
0
"Starting in 2011 the new

"Starting in 2011 the new healthcare bill will TAX you on items you sell over $600 (even if you paid $1000 originally for the item)."

Chillen, that has been the law for years (at least 30 years, that I know of). People just ignored it, is all.

dani
13
Points
dani 11/18/10 - 05:13 pm
0
0
I have been called wrong

I have been called wrong before but after reading this article I THINK Chillen is right.

>
Why? Section 9006 of H.R. 3590 (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as the health care reform bill) has quietly ordered an enormous change in tax reporting.

Section 9006 says that starting on January 1, 2012, all businesses must issue 1099 tax forms not only to freelancers and vendors, but also to any individual, business or corporation from which they purchase more than $600 in goods or services in a tax year

}According to this, it is a new law and part of the Obamacare Plan just as Chillen said.

ron_rlw
1
Points
ron_rlw 11/18/10 - 05:35 pm
0
0
One thing is for sure ... we

One thing is for sure ... we are finding out what's in it after it was passed.

Wouldn't if have been nice to have figured that out before it was passed?

CorporalGripweed
0
Points
CorporalGripweed 11/18/10 - 06:43 pm
0
0
When the health care bill was

When the health care bill was passed, many were ridiculed for using the term "death panels". My initial impression was that the whole system will become a death panel.This article reaffirms my diagnosis.

carcraft
28446
Points
carcraft 11/18/10 - 07:08 pm
0
0
Gaspring- The salary and

Gaspring- The salary and compenstion for physcians will go down leaving fewer who want to put in the 10 to 12 years and into the $100,000 debt accumulated and required to become a Doctor. Dani, knowing this was coming two years ago is not enought time to educate a Doctor, it takes 10 to 12 years at a minimum. In the mean time We wave the Obama wand and it magically happens , like closing Gitmo!

dani
13
Points
dani 11/18/10 - 07:50 pm
0
0
I know car..but someone had

I know car..but someone had said Chiilen was wrong (see 5:03pm), that it had been a law for years...just correcting the record to say Chillen was right, it is a part of Obamacare.

carcraft
28446
Points
carcraft 11/18/10 - 08:01 pm
0
0
dani-I apologize, I read your

dani-I apologize, I read your quote of TrukinRanger as yours, sorry! This bill is a diseaster from start to finish, I hope Pilosi, Ried and Obama choke on it. Of course nothing really happens until Obumbler is out of office!

GGpap
528
Points
GGpap 11/19/10 - 06:26 am
0
0
Interesting, a few

Interesting, a few physicians, hospital executives and insurances representatives (the acorns) gather together and make a few cleverly veiled doom and gloom pronouncements and at least a third of the responders here (disciples of chicken little) perform as to be expected.

So many seers, so few wise men, and then, of course, a whole lotta sponges to soak it all up.

GGpap

eagle
94
Points
eagle 11/19/10 - 10:52 am
0
0
Oh please. This isn't health
Unpublished

Oh please. This isn't health care reform; it's a takeover of our health care system and it's working just like Obama knew it would. He has always stated that he wanted a 1-payer system and he's close to getting it. It's nothing more than socialized health care. Yup, works great in Europe and Canada...NOT. It's time to repeal this piece of crap, vote Obama out of office in 2012, and take back our country.

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