Healthcare

In a publication Feb. 1, senior financial editor of HealthLeaders Media Christopher Cheney addresses the consequences of Texas’ refusal to expand Medicaid. Increasing pressures on primary care through the taxes imposed by the Affordable Care Act on healthcare organizations and the five-year annual decrease in Medicare Advantage reimbursement, which continues for two more years, resulting in a 28 percent decrease, in reimbursement, continues to decrease the ability of providers to care for our most vulnerable citizens.

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Change is not surprising in human experience. We are humorously told that as Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, Adam said, “Well, Eve, things are changing!” And it has been that way ever since. In a meeting Jan. 26, 2015, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced measurable goals and a timeline to move the Medicare program, and the health care system at large, toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients.

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SETMA’s soon-to-be 21 years of healthcare delivery can logically be seen in three seven-year segments:

• 1995-2002 – marked by the development of a team approach to healthcare, electronic medical records, which morphed into electronic medical management, population health, and the foundation of analytics and data management with 1999-sentinel events that continue to define our care delivery.

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Health care has been in the news and on the minds of Americans lately with the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” taking center stage in the political theater. While civilians wonder how the act will affect them and whether the changes might be positive or negative, veterans already struggle with health care issues of their own.

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As Gwen McClelland walked out of Ubi Caritas, a clinic for the underinsured and uninsured in Beaumont, her two children fidgeted excitedly about being out of the clinic’s waiting room.

“I actually have four kids,” she said.

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