Local healthcare organizations implement Obamacare

By WEEK Reporter

March 14, 2013 Updated Mar 14, 2013 at 10:16 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- As the Affordable Care Act's policy changes roll out, hospitals and doctors offices around the country are working to put the changes into practice. While patients may not see a lot of direct changes, here locally, several organizations say their entire approach has changed.

The intent of the Affordable Care Act is to allow people without insurance, or with inadequate coverage, access to care when they need it, not just in emergencies.

However, Tara Canty with OSF Healthcare Systems said in the big picture of healthcare, the law does much more.

"It also means changing the way that we deliver care and changing the focus from a specific procedure or a specific illness or a specific instance, and the focus is now on the patient," said Canty.

She said for OSF, the law has allowed for Accountable Care, a healthcare based on value and quality and makes them accountable for the entire patient.

"Some of what's in the Affordable Care Act is to start looking at instead of paying you for doing more, why don't we just pay you to do the right thing, and it's not pre-defined what the right thing is," she said.

Dr. Richard Kube at the Prairie Spine and Pain Institute said his organization saw these changes coming down the pipeline and he's been preparing for years. His practice integrates many aspects of healthcare under one roof, he said that adds to the patient value, while trying to save money.

"If we're truly working together where all of the services are provided in parallel and then you're able to gain efficiency with that and reduce the timeline, reduce overages," said Dr. Kube.

Dr. Kube said his practice has the necessary technology in place and as an example, is ready to go live with electronic medical records. Another mandate of the Affordable Healthcare Act set to take effect next year.

"That's part of the concept so that the same person doesn't have 10 different versions of a low back x-ray. They have one version that people can access," said Dr. Kube.

It's just another step in the Affordable Care Act that Dr. Kube said will urge other physicians to move forward and embrace this new direction.

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