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Haze Lifting on ACA: Survey Shows It’s Good News-Bad News for Healthcare Facilities

  by Megan Headley | June 03, 2016
  Today, healthcare facility professionals are more optimistic about the future of U.S. healthcare than they were two years ago, according to the findings of a recent survey conducted by Mortenson Construction. Larry Arndt, Mortenson’s general manager of healthcare, reported on the survey during a presentation on “Winners, Losers and Shifting Thoughts of Healthcare Leaders Since Kick-In of the Affordable Care Act” at the 2016 Midwest Healthcare Real Estate Summit in Chicago in May.

According to a recap of the presentation published in Health Facilities Management, survey respondents believe challenges remain with the ACA, but also recognize the opportunities the legislation offers.

For example, the survey showed that 74 percent of respondents plan major investments in ambulatory care construction as well as renovation and remodeling within the next two years. In addition, 72 percent said they will invest in the same for traditional hospitals. On waste and energy-reduction opportunities, 98 percent of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that those opportunities continue to exist. According to the article, healthcare facilities continue to take advantage of “quick-win” energy-efficiency upgrades, including:

  • Installing LED lighting or other efficient lighting — 37 percent
  • Installing motion detectors, lighting timers and/or low-flow faucets — 15 percent
  • Creating new energy management and/or Lean departments — 12 percent

Mike Wood, president of the Health Care Institute, co-presented with Arndt. Wood noted that the ACA has resulted in some definite winners and losers.

According to Wood, winners include:

  • The previously uninsured and underinsured.
  • Individuals with previously uninsurable illnesses and pre-existing conditions/treatments.
  • Child gestation treatment.
  • Wellness programs, which have become more focused, intentional, outcome-based and now are compensated.
  • The “business” of healthcare, which has been sharpened.
  • The “mission” conversation.

Losers include:

  • Pre-ACA insured, due to higher costs and more difficult access.
  • Fee-for-service.
  • Rural health and critical health community-based systems and programs.
  • Single providers, small providers, and single specialty-based practices.
  • The distribution of capital, which has been disrupted.
  • Individualized choice, which is now much more difficult to achieve.
  • Cost burdens, which have been shifted to ACOs, states, payers and individuals.

To learn more about the survey, read the full article.

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