A new President and Congress does not necessarily signal doom and gloom for Beacon Health programs and stellar performance. One reason for that is that Democrats and Republicans alike agree that as a nation we need to better manage the cost of care. Now the hard work begins on finding common ground to a sustainable healthcare future.
We know that healthcare is at the top of President-elect Donald Trump's to-do list for his first 100 days in office. Surely you heard his strong messaging regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the very long campaign. "Repeal and replace the ACA" was his consistent theme. Many are wondering how, or if the election results will affect Beacon Health and our initiatives to transform care delivery throughout EMHS and our partner organizations. At this time we simply don't know what a Trump presidency plus a Republican-controlled Congress will mean for the ACA and healthcare overall. However, in the past few days we've heard evidence that dismantling the ACA in its entirety won't happen - President-elect Trump told the Wall Street Journal he might preserve the popular prohibition against insurers denying coverage because of preexisting conditions and allowing young people to stay on their parents' insurance to age 26. There also seems to be some unease among House members, who run for re-election every two years, to live with the potential consequences of a sweeping repeal of the ACA.
With all that it seems clear meeting the Triple Aim and transforming the Medicare payment system to one that is value-based will continue. The path we are on may change (and face it, we are all about change), but our goal to improve patient care and lower costs will not go away.
Efforts to drive innovation (e.g., Next Generation ACO, MSSP, MACRA etc.) will very likely continue. In fact, we may see additional flexibility and opportunities to try common sense approaches to improve care, such as post discharge home visits.
Much of the criticism around the ACA has been focused on the public exchange and although that does affect our provider partners, the exchange has little direct impact on current Beacon Health initiatives.
We also expect there will be continued strong support for programs where we are most invested - Medicare Advantage, Medicare Next Generation ACO, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.
Commercial payers and their desire to implement population health programs will likely be unaffected by changes to the ACA.
Overall, we need to continue to deliver solutions for improving personalized population health - better quality of life for our patients and employees, better quality outcomes, and lower costs.
Our path may change or have some new twists and turns but the incentives to achieve that goal is not going to go away. We expect it will only increase.