California pioneers industries and paves the way for modern marvels. From biomedical research and drone design and manufacture here in San Diego, to the film industry from our neighbors to the north and computer and internet technology in Silicon Valley, this state creates products and business models that set an example for the rest of the nation.
The California-based company CareMore has similarly inspired an entire line of healthcare facilities that strive to lower healthcare costs and improve care, particularly for Medicare patients. Although the company began in the 1990s providing Medicare Advantage plans to patients and unique care strategies, such as low-cost pedicures for diabetics, its practices are being modeled by various other clinics. Similarly, The Heritage Provider Network, another California-based healthcare company, offers dance classes and healthy cooking classes to its patients. The innovative methods of healthcare are forming the basis for “accountable care organizations”, which aim to treat people rather than their ailments in order to streamline healthcare and decrease costs.
For its part, Obamacare attempts to push the needle toward actual health care, rather than illness care by promoting innovative ways of looking at health. It is well known that Americans receive worse care per dollar spent than most other developed nations; bringing the cost and quality of care more in line is a national priority. Unfortunately, the typical healthcare model in America promotes reactionary healthcare, emergency treatment, and expensive recoveries. Hospitals and physicians are able to charge more and, in turn, make more, when patients return or have an urgent need for care. Obamacare attempts to incentivize healthy habits while disincentivizing unhealthy habits, for both patients and professionals. Of course, the success of preventive care relies on your participation in planning for your own health. Preventing illness and disease throughout your life is beneficial. However, planning for more substantive care in your old age is also important. Through the use of a QMap trust, you can plan for Medi-Cal (Medicaid elsewhere) coverage, particularly in case you require long-term care. By planning in advance, you may also prevent running into problems with the look back period or fund recovery.
Increasingly, California is looking to ways to lower health care costs through preventive treatment and through expanding the roles of non-physician healthcare professionals. California has expanded the role of health professionals who did not attend medical school, including midwives, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists, by allowing them to perform various medical tasks according to their skills. These tasks include cholesterol screening, other forms of primary care and, notably, certain early term abortions. By increasing the availability of these forms of healthcare, the overall costs should be reduced and doctors may be able to do more of the tasks for which they are trained.
As more individuals enter the healthcare market through expanded Medicaid and healthcare exchanges (Covered California), it is important to develop creative care methods for individuals that will prevent a physician shortage whereby physicians turn away patients with lower-paying plans, such as Medi-Cal and improve overall results. Perhaps affordable care is only the beginning.
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