How the ACA is Expected to Shape Healthcare Technology

The United States Affordable Care Act has pushed health care professionals to redefine the way they conduct business. Before the legislation was passed, many hospitals focused more on turnover and volume, caring for as many visitors as possible. Now, the ACA's implementation has instigated a "value based" approach, leading many facilities to adopt cloud computing solutions in order expedite administration processes.

As it's Needed

The past decade has been accompanied by widespread consumerization of technology, spawning new industries and innovations in its wake. Therefore, professionals at Intel believe that expansive adoption of advanced computing systems is necessary for the health care industry to survive as well as abide by stringent ACA standards. A white paper released by the organization noted that this investment will eliminate ground-level inefficiencies and reduce the cost of general treatments in the long run.

Ultimately, cloud applications enable hospital administrators and physicians to obtain a more succinct view of patient finances. As the ACA pushes for an overall cost abatement, professionals may be able to identify less expensive, yet more effective treatment plans. Such a transition doesn't necessarily have to occur, either. Slight, previously overlooked patterns that add up to major expenditures could be eliminated.

For example, one of the biggest expenses for patients are hospital visits and the cost tends to depend on how long they remain in the facility. Intel reported that Medicaid is redesigning its IT infrastructure with the intent of keeping people at home for longer periods of time. Delivering advice to care receivers through systems with interactive features such as cloud CRM has the potential to significantly reduce costs.

What's Ahead

A part of transitioning to a "value based" treatment system is by engaging customers on a more personal level. For cancer patients, this goes without saying, but for routine check-ups or generally less severe treatment plans, fostering an environment of personable connectivity is essential for the ACA's proposed system to be practical. Katie Sullivan, a contributor to FierceHealthCare, cited opinions expressed by Wellpoint Chief Executive Officer Joseph Swedish, who spoke at the American College of Healthcare Executives Congress in Chicago in March.


"Mobile telehealth is an exciting new opportunity to advance how the industry administers and consumers health care," he told attendees at the conference.

What this technology allows patients to do is connect with physicians whenever it's most convenient for them, whether it be through video sessions or online chats. Phone calls are useful, but rapport can be built more easily between the patient and the doctor in a more face-to-face environment.

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