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2 Wildcards for Physicians in Early 2014

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, January 2, 2014

He also says that SGR uncertainty contributes to decisions medical students have to make now that affect patients and care in the future.

"When [medical students] are looking at four years down the road or even eight years down the road, we're still at the crossroads of… the SGR. We haven't repealed it, we don't know what the pay-fors will be, and that is actually a very important variable in the next steps this country takes toward the changes that have to happen in healthcare delivery and healthcare payment. The payment reform, incentivizing primary care, these are huge issues for medical student interest into becoming the physician leaders of their team," says Blackwelder.

Will HIX Enrollment Numbers Meet Expectations?
January 1, 2014, marked the beginning of what will be Obamacare's fourth, and arguably, most tested year. The massive volume of regulations included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has already changed the environment for all of healthcare's key players, but now previously uninsured patients are expecting delivery on the promise of access and care through a health insurance exchange (HIX).

The consumer protections, drastic payer changes, and drug discounts implemented in previous years were the run up to exchanges, which began with a whimper in federally facilitated exchange states (the majority). Exchanges are the most visible component of PPACA, and will become either a beacon or a relic. Critics could point to the troubled start of the exchanges as an indicator of it being the latter. But the real test is the end of March, when HIX enrollment ends.

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