Patients Rushing To Get Care Before ObamaCare Kicks In

Thousands of people are cramming in tests, elective procedures and specialist visits before year’s end, seeking out top research hospitals and physician groups that will be left out of some 2014 insurance plans under the new health law, health-care providers say.

Health insurers are especially focused on paring academic teaching and research hospitals from their networks because they generally charge more than community hospitals for similar services. [See chart]


Source: WSJ.

Comments (12)

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  1. Tommy says:

    Not exactly what you’d hope to hear considering that health care entrepreneurship is primarily coming from these research institutions.

    • Stu says:

      Exactly. The most powerful pioneers in medical practice are coming out of research-based health systems.

  2. Martha says:

    Again, where’s the consistency? Why not transition to a regional exchange system?

  3. Vicki says:

    This is truly sad.

  4. Lana says:

    I wonder if MD Anderson or other cancer institutes are in the “ultra narrow network”.

    • Lana says:

      Obamacare will make it impossible for lower-income Americans (or middle income Americans as well, for that matter) to receive specialized cancer treatment at these top-tier hospitals.

  5. Margaret says:

    I hope these new 2014 insurance plans allow insured Americans to get the care they expect.

  6. Jerry says:

    It’s so hard to know when the administration keeps going back and forth on its own policies and deadlines.

  7. Sam Clark says:

    At the end of the day, without increasing the supply of doctors, waiting times will shoot up regardless of momentary rushes.

  8. Bradley says:

    Do we know if the narrow networks fall in urban or suburban areas? That will matter a lot in terms of access and practicality.

  9. Bob Hertz says:

    I am not an expert in this issue, but let me ask the question anyways:

    Why can’t a health plan announce that “We will pay $8,000 for an appendectomy” (which is what their preferred provider charges)

    If the patient finds themselves in a high priced hospital that charges $20,000 for the identical procedure, that high priced hospital is forced to accept $8,000 if they take the patient.

    If this is an emergency, the high priced hospital is absolutely forced to accept $8,000.

    Loosely speaking let’s call this “mandatory assignment.”

    If Obama was not so beholden to big donors he could have put this into law.

    What am I missing?