President Trump Meets with Insurance Executives to Discuss
Affordable Care Act Replacement

Question: How close are we to a repeal of the Affordable Care Act?

Answer: President Donald Trump met with health insurance CEOs to discuss the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The meeting included executives from UnitedHealth, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Kaiser Permanente, along with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

According to President Trump, many of the public health exchanges will “implode” this year, due in large part to rising premiums. Premiums were steadily rising for all insurance policies for years and experts said the hikes for Obamacare were partly due to them initially being priced artificially low. With health insurers now leaving the exchanges and other correcting for the artificially low prices, premiums are set to rise further. While no specific plan was announced, the GOP has laid out a blueprint for the repeal and replacement of the ACA, including providing tax credits and health savings accounts, while cutting subsidies and Medicaid funding. The proposal also eliminates the employer and individual mandates that required providing and carrying health insurance.

Still, although the president enjoys a majority in both houses, experts agree that the ACA will not be repealed outright, but rather, portions of it – like the individual mandate – will be taken out piecemeal until a plan to replace the ACA is in place.

Weekly Charting Tip: One study concerning Electronic Health Records found that medical residents copied text, as in copy and paste, 78% of the time! As a health care attorney and former provider, I reviewed countless medical records. I have found the same with experienced physicians’ charts. This is a dangerous habit. The copied prior text is often inaccurate as to the situation of your patient on the date that you examined that patient. The fact that the patient was improving on the prior visit does not mean that she has continued to improve on this visit. Do not take shortcuts. Insurance audits look for these copy and paste type records. So do the federal and state governments when investigating possible fraud and abuse. An extra few minutes each day writing an original chart note, will allow you to sleep well at night.  –Yours, Larry Kobak, Esq.

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