Researcher: 5 Ways Obamacare Has Improved US Health System

Photo (cc) by mjmonty

America’s health care landscape has undergone some dramatic changes as a result of the passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, otherwise known as Obamacare. The ACA has its share of critics, even five years after its passage.

But despite the ongoing controversy over Obamacare, there are at least a handful of ways that it’s improved your health care, according to a researcher at the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

“[B]ehind the noise and confusion, there are some major forces at work that are driving new models of care and changing the way we practice, pay for, and evaluate health care,” writes Kavita Patel, a physician and expert on health care reform and medical delivery.

She notes five positive changes that have occurred over the past five years, many of them unnoticed by patients and physicians:

  • Team-based care. ACA payment models promote a team-based approach to health care as a way to provide higher quality care and better patient outcomes. Oftentimes, this means dealing more with nonphysician staff for things such as following up, giving instructions for medications and other administrative tasks. “This allows doctors to spend time providing more intensive, specialized care such as diagnosing patients and devising a treatment plan,” Patel writes.
  • More focus on prevention and wellness. The ACA encouraged a shift in how Americans use health care, focusing more on preventive care and wellness, rather than simply treating illnesses. Because of this, an additional 76 million people are seeing health professionals for preventive care, according to Patel’s article. That means you may be seeing your doctor more now for well visits, immunizations and recommended health tests.
  • Evening and weekend care aren’t always limited to ER visits. “To participate in new payment models such as bundled payments, practices are often required to offer extended hours for their patients on evenings and weekends to reduce the overuse of expensive and unnecessary emergency room visits,” Patel said. So you may be able to call and get a doctor’s advice 24/7.
  • Paper records are out; digital files are in. Electronic health records are designed to improve patient care. Some patients are now able to take advantage of patient portals online, where they can access educational materials and view their office visits and health test results.
  • Increase in access to health care in remote areas. Mobile technology and virtual visits are used more often to connect with patients in rural and remote areas. This allows many people to “see” a doctor without leaving their home or office. “The trend is being picked up by several large insurance companies and employers to save costs related to in-office visits, but also for offering access to care that might otherwise be sought out in the emergency room or that might be delayed and cause more serious illness,” Patel noted.

Have you noticed any of these changes in your health care visits? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Brace to Pay More for These 26 Prescriptions in 2020
Brace to Pay More for These 26 Prescriptions in 2020

More than 600 drugs — including these commonly prescribed meds — have seen price hikes so far this year.

15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5
15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5

These products offer big value at a small price.

13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better
13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better

These inexpensive electronics will make your day-to-day life a little easier — and happier.

12 Easy Ways To Make Make Money Online Without Leaving Home
12 Easy Ways To Make Make Money Online Without Leaving Home

If you’re hanging around the house a lot these days — and who isn’t? — use your time to make some extra cash.

5 Ways to Save at Dollar Tree
5 Ways to Save at Dollar Tree

Yes, it’s possible to pay less than a buck for items from a dollar store.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC has unveiled a schedule that likely will determine who gets the next doses.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid
The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid

As a new year dawns, deals abound for some types of products. In other cases, it pays to wait.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.