Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ramifications of Loss of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

By Ted Chan, Founder & CEO of CareDash

Millions of Americans might be about to lose health care, potentially triggering a crisis at medical facilities across the nation. The GOP now controls the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. They will likely make good on their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare.) While Republican lawmakers have consistently promised to “repeal and replace” the law that insured 22 million, so far Congress has offered no plan for insuring those who can’t afford insurance or can’t get covered because of pre-existing conditions.. We anticipate this will have major ramifications for caregivers, and significantly impact the work experience.

Difficult Decisions When Providing Care for Uninsured
Hospitals cannot turn away patients solely because they lack insurance coverage. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTLA) is a federal law mandating the provision of stabilizing treatment in emergency situations and to women in labor. Hospitals that don’t comply can lose Medicaid funding.

Providers are not, however, required to offer anything beyond stabilizing care. No law mandates cancer treatment, extensive diagnostic services for non-emergent medical issues, or other potentially life-saving treatment. The Affordable Care Act provides coverage for preventative care, but that mandate may also soon disappear.

This leaves providers to interpret the law and assess what ethical care demands. Provide too much care to an uninsured patient and you may bankrupt your hospital. Offer too little care, and you could lose Medicaid funding. This dilemma doesn't even take into account that providers are treating human beings. The stress—and bad publicity—of turning away someone in need can be overwhelming.

High Costs of Unpaid Care
The EMTLA is an unfunded mandate. One recent study found that half of hospital bills go unpaid. Compliance with the law, particularly in poor and disenfranchised areas, can cost hospitals millions. Providers may try to make up for this loss by limiting unreimbursed care only to emergencies, and never providing extra care when the law does not require it.

No provider went through years of school to view their patients as paychecks, but the realities of unreimbursed care can fundamentally alter the patient-provider relationship. Health care professionals may find themselves assessing whether a patient can pay before they recommend treatment, or may adjust their care recommendations based on perceptions about a patient's finances. Research shows that the uninsured receive fewer health interventions and stay for shorter periods in hospitals.

Worse Health for Patients and Lower Morale for Health Care Providers
When patients lose insurance coverage, they turn to emergency rooms for treatment. This consistently results in lower quality care. Rather than the ongoing monitoring and communication that marks a healthy doctor-patient relationship, patients seeking care in the emergency room receive only stabilizing treatment. They don’t form relationships with doctors and nurses who understand their lifestyles and needs, and they're unlikely to receive preventative care, weight loss counseling, advice about nutrition, and other medical information that can empower good health.

The cost is high. The uninsured have a 39 percent higher mortality rate. There’s simply no way to quantify the emotional toll on families, friends, and communities of this tragic outcome.

Opponents of government programs to increase health care coverage, including the ACA, argue that the programs are too expensive. Cutting these programs merely shifts the burden. When hospital bills go unpaid, taxpayers and local governments are often forced to pick up the tab. The question is not whether health care coverage should be paid for; it’s who pays. No one benefits when the poorest among us are denied care.

Ted Chan created CareDash to address the need for transparency and improve the quality of healthcare information available for all Americans.


Thanks Ted. We also need to consider the vast number of jobs to be LOST by eliminating the ACA. Just another ramification. Please contact your elected officials immediately!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Seven Things You Should Know about ATI TEAS (TEAS VI) VS. TEAS V

A Guest Post by Katie Meir

The official TEAS test entered its 6th edition and is called the "ATI TEAS." If you are starting to research the TEAS exam, or preparing for your upcoming exam, you must be aware of the differences between the old and new versions. While, some schools still accept TEAS V results, you can no longer take it. So, what should you take into consideration before taking this exam?

1. What is the TEAS exam?
The TEAS is a nursing entrance exam with four sections: English and Language Usage, Reading, Math, and Science. Most nursing programs will either require you to take the TEAS before submitting your application or will invite you to take the test once you have passed the preliminary rounds of the application process. ATI TEAS includes changes in both format and content. Therefore, in order to outperform your competition, use updated preparation materials.

2. What is the test format?
The TEAS is a multiple-choice test. Each section has its own time limit and breaks are allowed between the sections. Check with your test center in advance to help you better prepare for your test day. The test includes 170 questions, only 150 of which are graded. However, you cannot know which questions count and which do not.

3. How is the Reading section formatted?
On the ATI TEAS, the Reading section consists of 53 questions to be answered in 64 minutes. This section includes three main topics: key ideas and details, craft and structure, and integration of knowledge and ideas. This section examines your ability to read and interpret text, identify arguments and key themes, and draw conclusion.

4. How is the Math section formatted?
The new TEAS Math section includes 36 questions with a 54-minute time limit. The most important change is that calculators are permitted on the ATI TEAS. The math section includes two topics: number & algebra and measurement & date. You’re required to demonstrate various abilities and knowledge of arithmetic, ratios, proportions, algebra, data presentation analysis, etc.

5. How is the Science section formatted?
The Science section is notoriously difficult for many. 53 questions must be answered in 63 minutes. The three main topics are human anatomy & physiology, life & physical sciences, and scientific reasoning. The main focus is on anatomy & physiology. While you prepare for the Science section, you should focus on understating the functions of different body systems.

6. How is the English section formatted?
In the English section, there are only 28 minutes to answer 28 questions. To answer questions accurately, a solid understanding of grammar is required. In addition, you’ll need to demonstrate your abilities in spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and word meaning.

7. How would it be best to prepare?
Now that you are aware of the differences between the two versions, search for material that may be beneficial to your preparations. Look for transparency and clarity, and try to evaluate how much you can benefit from it and how relevant it is to your test prep. Free resources might help, but if you really want to outperform your competition, you should consider using some paid resources. Invest now in your future. Good luck!

Katie Meir is a product manager at TestPrep-Online and a TEAS specialist.
TestPrep-Online offers exclusive PrepPacks™ for a wide variety of tests for students from kindergarten through graduate school and has helped thousands of test takers reach their academic goals through using online PrepPacks™.

Great information. Thanks Katie!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

The new year always brings renewed energy and focus. May your choices be wise and fruitful. Wishing you success and happiness. Remember to take care of YOU so that you can give your best to your patients, your colleagues and families. Happy 2017!