Achieving the Triple Aim
By Joseph Franz
The Affordable Care Act remains one of America’s most controversial issues. And whether you’re for it or against it, we can most likely all agree that the implementation of the Act’s healthcare reforms certainly hasn’t gone as smoothly as the government, healthcare workers or the general public would have hoped for. However, even though it’s still too soon to make conclusions about the overall success of the Act, as a healthcare professional, I am passionate about the goals of the Affordable Act’s Triple Aim—better individual care, better health for population, and lower costs—and am working toward making those goals a reality.
One part of the Triple Aim is better care for individuals. This means that the reforms are meant to improve patients’ experience of care, patient safety, and preventative health. It also aims to improve the care and experience of at-risk populations, such as the elderly, and to improve care coordination. One of the most complicated and least efficient aspects of our healthcare systems is the lack of coordination between physicians, nurses, hospitals, therapists, and other healthcare professionals. The Affordable Care Act aims to better coordinate the financial, operational and clinical aspects of an individual’s healthcare experience and also to better coordinate the transition between care settings to home care. This is key because patients with complex healthcare issues can be sent home from the hospital with nothing more than a list of instructions.
The second goal of the Triple Aim is better overall health for the population. This means increasing vaccination rates and creating prevention and wellness programs. For example, online nutrition programs are being created to disseminate important information to the masses in order to help decrease the obesity rate, diabetes and heart disease. The goal of better health for the population is key because it marks a shift of focus from simply individual care to creating programs that can target larger populations and hopefully prevent diseases rather than changing the course of the disease in progression.
Lastly, the Affordable Care Act aims to lower healthcare costs. As of now, healthcare accounts for approximately one fifth of government spending, and healthcare costs are also expensive for the patients. Coordinating care, as mentioned earlier, will cut costs by eliminating inefficiencies and redundancies. The provision that insurance policies cover preventative care will also hopefully decrease long-term healthcare costs. Another measure that the government is taking is reducing Medicare reimbursements for hospitals that repeatedly release patients who are readmitted within a month with a serious condition, such as heart attacks and pneumonia.
At Encinitas Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, we understand that the transition into the new healthcare system hasn’t been easy for many, but we do promise to do our best to enhance patient care and cut costs. For questions about skilled nursing and rehabilitation care of you or a loved one, please visit us at http://encinitasnursingandrehab.com or call us at (760) 753-6423.
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