Affordable Care Act
I'm embarrassed to say it, but it wasn't until last week that I finally got a grasp of the Affordable Care Act and specifically its implications for the future of physical therapy. As part of our "Evidence-Based Practice" coursework, Everette James, director of the Health Policy Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, addressed our class regarding the history and current state of the Affordable Care Act.
I didn't realize the vast potential for the field of physical therapy, but I'm excited about the future of our profession. The individual mandate for healthcare coverage will coincide with the graduation of my class in 2014. I have pathetically little knowledge about all of this, but even I can see how the delivery of care will need to change at that time. Physical therapy will be in the perfect place to step up to the plate! If we can find a way to further prove the value of our profession, I think we'll be in a great place.
Everette James focused specifically on Title III of the ACA, consisting of reducing readmissions, flat fee payment for services, healthcare innovation research funds and patient-centered outcomes. Specifically regarding the available funds for healthcare research, Everette James pinpointed the potential for physical therapy to develop and prove its value.
By demonstrating innovative and less expensive ways that PT professionals can provide care, we can hopefully change the climate of healthcare to focus on services provided by allied health personnel. In addition, with the patient-centered outcomes research institute also developed by the ACA, it seems like physical therapy is in an exciting place. I know it's going to take time for the changes to have an effect, but I'm excited to be graduating from school in the middle of it all.