Medicaid has played a big role in keeping millions of Americans adequately insured and protected with a viable health coverage. Specifically designed to make healthcare more accessible to low-income Americans, Medicaid implements a strict standard before an individual can be declared eligible for the benefits offered.
Many of the beneficiaries of Medicaid are elderly or disabled. The program’s existence is crucial to states delivering quality healthcare to their constituents. States and local governments must carefully balance their budgets to have adequate resources to allocate for this program.
Medicaid as well as the rest of the components of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) remains under threat of repeal and replacement. It had a very close call only recently, but the reprieve is short as another proposal has now been passed by the GOP.
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Major changes in revenue cycle management (RCM) technology are in store for health providers, including the small physician practice market. Currently, small medical practices are having a hard time handling the fast growth of patient payments, account management inefficiencies, and regulatory environment changes. These difficulties affect their collection of revenues, which can eventually derail the quality of services patients get when left ignored.
However, the use of electronic health records (EHR) is starting to change the landscape and improve the way healthcare organizations gather, analyze and report data. Experts believe that advanced RCM systems will keep on expanding as RCM providers work to incorporate new tools with unified platforms to enhance patient engagement, population health management and analytics. In fact, 97% of hospitals and nearly three quarters of providers are utilizing certified EHR technology.
EHR implementation poses challenges, as well, since the shift from paper to electronic records would demand a lot of time, energy and capital of a healthcare organization. These changes also call for additional training for staff involved in RCM and familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of the technology.
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There has been a number of discussions in Washington about the future of social security in the country. Some argue that it needs major reform. To compound matters, the sum of the President’s actions in recent months seem to imply that disability benefits and social security itself may soon be in danger.
Cost of Social Security Continues to Rise
The Social Security Disability Insurance program has continued to grow in costs over the past few years. In fact, reports estimate that it cost $143 billion back in 2015. As the costs continue to rise, officials are now saying that the disability part of the Social Security Trust Fund may well be completely exhausted by year 2022. Should this happen, benefits would automatically be cut for everyone.
In the past, lawmakers acted urgently to stabilize the disability fund. In fact, in 2015, they transferred funds from Social Security’s main trust fund to help fund disability. This time around, however, this kind of ‘fix’ may no longer work. That’s because the scenario has become more complicated than in previous years.
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