Hawai`i health care providers and the national association for medical schools are applauding the United States Supreme Court’s decision upholding most provisions of the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”. Watch a conversation about the ruling with Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs Dr. Roy Magnusson.
From the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Dr. Roy Magnusson, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs: “This is a very important first step in the transformation of health care in the United States and Hawai`i is actually far along in this process in terms of its planning.”
- The John A. Burns School of Medicine has been involved in several aspects of preparing Hawai`i for the Affordable Care Act. We are involved in the Governor’s Health Care Transformation Task Force and they are examing what other states are doing with Medicaid to see if there are enhancements we can make here.
- The medical school is on the board of the Hawai`i Health Information Exchange, a nonprofit established to get all providers involved in electronic health records so that there is access to health records where it’s needed when it’s needed for all patients and their doctors.
- We are also involved in the guidelines suggested by UH President Greenwood’s Institute of Medicine report which identified obesity as a major heath threat. The medical school’s “Hawai’i 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go” program is one such example of how we can help our communities to reduce the overall burden of obesity on health care.
“Our physicians and our medical group are working with health systems and hospitals and other health care providers to create an Accountable Care Organization in Hawai`i. We want to organize health around the patient and make sure their needs are optimized. You need primary care physicians, specialty physicians, you need a hospital and you need long term care and this needs to be organized into a Accountable Care Organization to manage a patient’s needs from pillar to post. If we are able do that, we will should be able to provide preventative measures that will prevent costly issues, manage chronic conditions more effectively to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and we will be able to measure the results of our work to make sure we are doing the things that create better health and better outcomes.”
From Governor Neil Abercrombie: “Your State government will continue to support a healthcare system what ensures high quality, safety and sustainable costs. The Affordable Care Act is our ally in this effort. Since appointing my Healthcare Transformation Coordinator, Beth Giesting, my Administration has and continues to work in partnership with the private sector-consumers, providers and insurers-to make suer the State of Hawai`i has that high quality healthcare system.”
From the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Darrell Kirch, President: “The AAMC is extremely pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld virtually all of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This law is an important step toward an improved health care system that gives all Americans access to the care they need when they need it. However, we are closely examining the court’s ruling as it relates to the Medicaid expansion. Under the ACA, States were given generous Federal subsidies and required to accept an expansion in Medicaid recipient eligibility (to cover all individuals under age 65 with incomes below 133% of federal poverty) and a minimum benefits package or lose all of its existing Medicaid funding. The Court ruled that Congress can offer States the option to accept expansion under the ACA but cannot put their existing Medicaid funding at risk. Congress’ extension of Medicaid remains available to any State that chooses to participate.
From the Hawai`i Medical Service Association (HMSA): (The) ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association (HMSA) will continue to advance health care reform in the state and offer the current level of benefits and access to doctors and hospitals. “We are strong advocates for health care reform and access to quality, affordable health care for Hawaii’s people. HMSA’s effort to increase access to care, slow the growth of health care costs, and support preventive health, individual responsibility, and transparency were underway long before the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010,” said Robert P. Hiam, HMSA’s chief executive officer.