Value-Based Payments Likely to Survive Affordable Care Act Repeal
Coverage, Patient Protections May Be at Risk
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As Republicans in Congress advance their plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is much uncertainty about how cardiologists and their patients may be affected. So far, 2 key questions are emerging among cardiologists: What will happen to coverage? And how will the changes affect value and quality initiatives?
The 2 questions get to the heart of some of the difficult trade-offs legislators will face in this latest round of health reform. The ACA extended coverage to >20 million US individuals, including 6 million at risk for cardiovascular disease and 1.3 million with heart disease, hypertension, or stroke, according to an American Heart Association (AHA) study published last year.
“The first priority is that we have 22 million lives that attained coverage in the first round of the ACA,” said Vince Bufalino, MD, an Illinois-based cardiologist and chair of the AHA’s Expert Panel on Payment and Delivery System Reform committee. “However it gets reshaped, we need to cover those people on the other side.”
Bufalino also noted the need to expand coverage further to help the 28 million who remained uninsured even after the ACA was implemented.
Republicans in Congress took the first steps toward repealing parts of the ACA in January through the budget reconciliation process. This process allows them to alter parts of the law that have budgetary impacts, but will not allow a complete repeal …