What should applicants know about the Affordable Care Act?

Sep 8, 2015
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Pre-Medical
I've been reading through the most unbiased information I can find, but it still seems to be "Obamacare is bad" or "Obamacare is good". I think I understand the basics of it, but I don't want to sound like an idiot in an interview if it is brought up. I'd love to hear what types of questions fellow interviewees have encountered.

There are plenty of discussions on SDN about how doctors should feel about it, yada yada yada, so please don't turn this into a debate. I simply would like to hear what others think are the most important aspects of the Affordable Care Act? I literally just want to know the facts without reading the 14o pages on the government's website.
 

Dr. Death

2+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2015
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Isn't it just "If you don't have health insurance, you need to get health insurance. Otherwise you are subject to financial penalties. If you can't afford health insurance, you can sign up for affordable care through the government website. The government provides low cost or no cost health insurance to people who cannot afford it."
 
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IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
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Aug 5, 2012
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The whole point of the act was to get those on insurance who are 1) not financial able to do so by themselves 2) earn too much to be considered for medicaid. Plus it doesn't allow people to be denied coverage because of preexisting health condition. It hasn't changed the way healthcare is delivered nor any deficiencies.
 
Feb 24, 2013
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The individual mandate is just a part of it. As you mentioned, its quite expansive. Maybe look up patient guarantees (no denying healthcare based on pre-existing conditions, lower cost of preventative treatments), the healthcare exchange marketplace, expansion to medicaid, changes to medicare (perhaps looking up changes from Fee for service to bundled payments).

Also, try to understand the point of obamacare. The "push" toward making america "healthier" by promoting preventative health and making people insured and how it could reduce healthcare spending in the long run. The idea is understand the tenants of obamacare at a basic level, know what it is trying to promote, and develop an opinion to discuss during the interview.
 

OrdinaryDO

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Just google the differences of AHA and the previous system and you will find comparrison charts listing the differences. There have been changed to medicar/medicaid, who gets assistance, added mandates, mandatory insurance packages for companies over 50 employess, etc. Not to much to know in order to get a good idea. They don't expect you to be an expert, but I would know the general ideas and the state-specific laws with respect to the school you are applying to.
 

cbrons

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I've been reading through the most unbiased information I can find, but it still seems to be "Obamacare is bad" or "Obamacare is good". I think I understand the basics of it, but I don't want to sound like an idiot in an interview if it is brought up. I'd love to hear what types of questions fellow interviewees have encountered.

There are plenty of discussions on SDN about how doctors should feel about it, yada yada yada, so please don't turn this into a debate. I simply would like to hear what others think are the most important aspects of the Affordable Care Act? I literally just want to know the facts without reading the 14o pages on the government's website.
Obama good
Socialism good
Cuba style health care good
Repeat those phrases over and over and it will eventually become true.
 
Jul 25, 2011
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Like it or not, Obamacare is pretty much settled law and will soon disappear from the interview repertoire. A current hot topic is drug costs:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/business/a-huge-overnight-increase-in-a-drugs-price-raises-protests.html
Drug Goes From $13.50 a Tablet to $750, Overnight

Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection. The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50... Cycloserine, a drug used to treat dangerous multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, was just increased in price to $10,800 for 30 pills from $500 after its acquisition by Rodelis Therapeutics... Doxycycline, an antibiotic, went from $20 a bottle in October 2013 to $1,849 by April 2014...​
 

Torilynn92

5+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2012
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I feel like this question is going to really trip me up in interviews. Everything I read online (especially on SDN) seems to sing the praises of Obamacare, but as somebody who works in the field right now it's been nothing but a headache. For example, my practice does not accept any insurances purchased through the marketplace. Because of the mandate, many of my patients who were previously cash-pay patients are now required to pay $600/month minimum for insurance, and now they can't afford to pay cash as they used to, and we also do not accept their crummy Obamacare plan. They used to see us once a month for a cost of $250, now they can't see us at all AND they're paying $600/month. The nearest specialist in our field that DOES accept their insurance is over an hour away, and most of my patients are not financially able to drive that far for care. Our billing department has had a heck of a time squeezing payments out of the new marketplace plans, and their coverage for certain procedures is abysmal. Not to mention their insane deductibles. Many of my patients were just better off as cash-pay-only patients. While I agree with the underlying ideas of Obamacare, in practice it's been a total nightmare. Is this something I can discuss at an interview, do you think? I feel like it's an extremely unpopular opinion.
 
OP
BecauseTheInternet
Sep 8, 2015
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Thanks for all the information so far, guys! I think quite a few SDN'ers will benefit from this thread, myself included!
 

allin1211

5+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2012
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Medical Student
I dont think they expect you to be an expert. But its about seeing how familiar you are with today's healthcare climate. And if you are, can you present a logical comment on it. When I interviewed they asked me what I thought about "obamacare" (i wouldnt correct them and say aca). And i just said it was the foot in the right direction and cited some of its positive attributes. But I also said that we still have a long way to go regarding making healthcare affordable to everyone because ____.

So you dont know need to go in a whole rant about what's wrong with it. Present both sides of the issue in a succinct but detailed manner. And move on from there.
 
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Torilynn92

5+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2012
269
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Medical Student (Accepted)
It is a relevant concern. Many academic interviewers are clueless about billing issues - they probably think ICD-10 is some kind of genetic nomenclature.
Arrrghhhh ICD-10. My life.

Thanks for the input, guys! :)
 

Bones 2020

Dammit Jim, I'm a student, not a doctor!
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Apr 21, 2011
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I bought and read this prior to interviewing. It does a good job of summarizing the good and bad of the entire healthcare system and reform

Amazon product
 
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MightBeACylon439

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Nov 19, 2014
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I knew a crap ton about it, never came up in one of my interviews.
 
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