The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed back in 2010 with the intent of improving accessibility and affordability of healthcare for all Americans, while improving the quality of the healthcare delivered and received. The ACA essentially aimed to provide better care at lower costs by: "Strengthening preventative and primary care to keep Americans well and out of the hospital; Encouraging healthcare providers to coordinate with one another to ensure patients are receiving the right care; Testing new and better ways to deliver and pay for care to improve health outcomes and reduce costs; and Investing in research to distinguish effective treatments from ineffective ones" ("The Affordable Care," 2015). The general public has mixed opinions regarding the ACA since its inception depending on what they value as important. In addition, nurses are in a unique position to impact the ACA other healthcare reform initiatives and encourage quality improvement due to their front line contact with patients across care settings.
The ACA has made drastic improvements in the care Americans are receiving, including improving access, affordability and quality of healthcare but it still remains a controversial piece of social legislation today. In 2014, more than 30 million previously uninsured Americans obtained health insurance. Healthcare costs have slowed due to the Affordable Care Act, which is encouraging greater price transparency in healthcare. Additionally, consumers are able to shop around for the health insurances policies, looking for the lowest premiums and out of pocket costs with assistance from sites like HealthCare.gov. "A recent Commonwealth Fund study found that in 2014, fewer ...
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...still remain potential opportunities and risks for fraud and abuse in healthcare. Healthcare fraud is a federal crime and these crimes carry a very high price tag. It 's important to realize that healthcare fraud "indirectly impacts patients, taxpayers and the government through higher healthcare costs, insurance premiums and taxes" (Consumer Info," 2016). The most common fraudulent acts with practices are: billing for services never performed, performing unnecessary medical services for the purpose of financial gain, and misrepresenting information to obtain a greater payment ("Consumer Info," 2016). It 's important that seniors understand they should never give out their Medicare or Social Security number, never give personal information over the phone or to someone that comes to their door and to call their insurance company immediately if they suspect fraud.
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