Change in the Wind

Healthcare reform. The Affordable Care Act. Obamacare. The names are almost as confusing as the law itself!

What’s changing? How does it affect you? So many questions and surprisingly little time until key portions of the law go into effect. Good news: You have a local partner who’s ready, willing and able to help you navigate the changes. Many people in our area and beyond look to ThedaCare as a leader in healthcare reform. We adopted the building blocks for its ideas of preventive care, wellness and coordinated care more than 10 years ago, and we continue to monitor upcoming changes to help you prepare.

Changes to Insurance

The thing to know about reform is how it affects healthcare coverage, meaning changes to insurance, ways to access insurance, costs of insurance, and how you might pay for it. When the law took effect in 2010, it put in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that affect all Americans. Now significant new components of the law are becoming active.

Changes to Care

Another aspect of healthcare reform includes changes to your care. The law emphasizes high quality care at low cost and asks caregivers to share that information with patients. It’s something we’ve been focused on at ThedaCare for years. When it comes to cost, ThedaCare has had the lowest price increases in Northeast Wisconsin since 2004. On the care side, we’ve implemented tools like Electronic Medical Records (EMR, or sometimes, EHR, Electronic Health Records), our After Visit summary Plan of Care, hospital care focused on teamwork and smooth transitions, and a medical home-like approach to primary care. As a result, expert care that’s more convenient and less costly. Expert care where you have input on your own treatment and more peace of mind.

When patient Jean Rappold was diagnosed with breast cancer, for example, she took comfort in knowing a team of experts on our Tumor Board was planning her next treatment steps. “They were looking at my specific case, each from their professional perspective and expertise,” she explained. “It made me feel like I was getting personal attention; they were paying attention to my unique issues. Every staff member was the most brilliant and the most human. I had every confidence they knew exactly what they were doing, and they didn’t forget the little things like asking, ‘Can I get you a blanket? Can I get you a glass of water?’”

ACA Healthcare costs