The ACA and Therapy
Starting on January 1, 2014 additional provisions of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) will go into effect. As a therapist this means some changes are likely to be headed your way if you’ve not already seen some.
Current provisions of the ACA allow for young adults to stay on their parent’s policies until 26, which has had the effect of allowing more young adults to either gain or retain services they need for S&L issues. This has been most noticeable for those young adults who are not classified but who perhaps find themselves in need of services following an accident or illness.
Other changes you can expect which will ripple into the professional arena include more individuals to be covered for services as more people access health insurance. It is likely there will be an addition of patients who had previously not sought out services because they lacked coverage for preventative services, which will now be covered and greater consumer protections.
What exactly do those consumer protections mean for you as a provider? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the 2013 Omnibus HIPAA Rule in January 2013 with an enforcement date of September 23, 2013 (which is coming right up!). This will require practitioners to update their HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices, Business Associate Agreements, Breach Notification Policy and other compliance documents. Now, if you work for a school, agency or are a contractor you’ll likely need to just follow some new procedures but if you’re an independent clinician it will mean that you’ll need to make sure your forms are up to date.
You might find this link useful ~ I found it thanks to a search ~ and its got some great information.
There is sure to be more press and more attention paid to these provisions but as a Thriver I want you to get ahead of the curve if you haven’t done so already! This is also a great example of how a little bit of effort now could easily prevent a great deal of trouble later.