In a series of four posts, we will explore key issues raised by the Affordable Care Act pertaining to our need for more health care providers to serve the many new enrollees. What are your thoughts on what public health care agencies should do to address this growing demand? Next week, we explore how incentives can be used to entice providers to serve in high-need regions.
By Patricia Marrone Bennett
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has garnered considerable attention in local and national media for years now. Through March 2015, over 16 million individuals nationwide (approximately 36% of the 45.2 million previously uninsured individuals) have enrolled in public health insurance plans via the newly formed health care benefits exchanges. While it is good news that so many more people have health care insurance coverage, it is now essential that our country’s public health care agencies turn their attention to increasing capacity to provide high-quality health care services to the many new enrollees. In addition, current and newly trained health care providers need to integrate their services for patients, collaborate with each other, utilize emerging technologies, improve their quality measures and adherence, and provide patient-centered care to help meet the growing demand for services. What additional measures do you think should be taken to ensure that new enrollees will be provided the high-quality and timely care that the plans promise to provide?
 45.2 million American individuals were uninsured in 2013; http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Census-About-9-percent-in-state-uninsured-in-2013-5759796.php