Today’s SCOTUS ruling really belongs to the lawyers, legal analysts and healthcare economists to discuss. That’s certainly what I’ve been spending my time reading. But since it pertains to healthcare, it seems like I should say something about the ruling. Something about how I think it’s going to affect my practice? What its impact on our patients will be?
Want to know the honest gospel truth? I have no fishin’ clue. None.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. Since I practice in a state that already has mandatory health insurance thanks to a Republican former governor whose policies were suspiciously similar to the ACA (confidential to MR: your secret is safe with me), most of my patients are insured. However, my office is close to the border of another state without a universal coverage law, and we have a lot of patients who cross the border for care. What number of uninsured patients we have come from there. Insofar as our practice has to write off costs because our self-pay patients just can’t pay them (which is not a huge amount), at least in the short term our bottom line might be helped a bit.
But in the long term? I don’t know. I have no idea what impact this law will have on reimbursement rates. As a part owner of the practice, I have no idea what impact this law will have on the premiums we will have to pay for our employees. Perhaps there’s an easy way to figure these answers out, but if there is I haven’t found it. (Feel free to suggest resources in the comments.)
So there you have it. Since there’s nothing in the law about what services will and won’t be paid for, the impact on the kind of medicine I practice seems pretty minimal. But beyond that, I don’t know what this really means. I do, however, promise to keep you posted.