PPACA's Impact on Quality of Care Isn't Getting Its Due
I haven't seen anyone mention that the law calls for an expansion of performance transparency in these government websites: Hospital Compare, Physician Compare and Nursing Home Compare.
Here's a specific example: Several sections of the act shore up, with financial support, the ability of local municipalities and hospitals to provide accountable and appropriate trauma and emergency room care through coordinated region-wide systems that don't exist in many parts of the country. In far too many regions of the country still today, patients aren't taken to the most appropriate hospital when they get in trouble; they're taken to the nearest.
Implementing these kinds of systems in areas that don't have them would almost certainly provide a very big bang for the buck in lives saved. That is an extreme example of improved quality of care.
It seems that almost every day, some high-ranking member of the Obama administration's Health and Human Services Department holds a news briefing to boast of another way the ACA has helped patients by improving coverage and benefits, either by lowering premiums or share of cost, or providing free access to preventive services.
During the most recent news briefing Tuesday, for example, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke of how the ACA has enabled more than 16 million people with Medicare obtain "at least one preventive service at no cost."
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