Single Payer insurance

JAMETH345

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If the U.S. changes to a single payer/Medicare for all type of system, what will the effect be on billing and coding? I would think it would eliminate a lot of our jobs. If everyone has the same insurance with the same rules, I would think billing and coding would be a lot more straightforward, with few if any variations. not trying to get political, just curious.



John Methgen, BS, CPC-A, CPB
 

daedolos

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The process would definitely be streamlined requiring less steps for claims. A lot of different people would have to agree on one medical system. I don't see that happening in the foreseeable future. That's like asking for everyone to speak just one language.

Peace
@_*
 

JAMETH345

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I read an article today about potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020 who are supporting Senator Sanders' plan. I think it could happen, in some form. It makes me wonder if I should be preparing for a career change.



John Methgen, BS, CPC-A, CPB
 

CodingKing

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I've always gotten jobs based on past experience alone and have never worked outside healthcare. Due to the odds of something like this in my lifetime, i decided my first degree is going to be something that can be transferred to other industries. I decided on Computer Information System degree (though still a lot of outsourcing there). I'm not as worried about having a job as not being able to access care with all the physicians retiring early or going self pay only. Service providers will lose any bargaining power. Its going to be a take it or leave it reimbursement. No making up of losses on the medicare side using commercial patients. There is already a significant number of physicians who are opting out of Medicare or capping medicare patients. Expect similar to happen here.
 

thomas7331

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I think it's highly unlikely that a single payer system will be implemented in this country any time in the foreseeable future. Whatever the advantages or disadvantages of such a system, it would be a massive change in the way that healthcare is managed and there just isn't support for such an upheaval in the system. If you consider that this would involve basically the dismantling of all insurance companies, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of workers and potential loss of profits to many very powerful and influential organizations, you can imagine the kind of resistance that such a change would face. Even if something like this were to gain ground, it would take many years to implement and transition to a new system, so I think it's not likely that there would be substantial risk to coding employment opportunities for a long time to come.

That said, I actually think that the coding profession is a good place to be in a system that is going to be changing. My experience has been that coders are well placed to weather changes - the coding profession, and the continual growth and education that accompanies it, positions coders very well to become experts in understanding how this complex system works. Coders who maintain and develop their skills and expertise can play an important and valuable role in helping to navigate the changes that healthcare will inevitably undergo, whatever those may ultimately be.
 

thomas7331

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As I see it, not much has changed in the three years since these posts were made. No major legislation to change the healthcare industry or move it toward a single payer system has been proposed or is under serious discussion. The only thing that could potentially cause a big change is the pending case on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, on which the US Supreme Court is expected to rule sometime next year. Depending on the outcome of that case, there could be some changes that result. For example, if the law is ruled unconstitutional then there would be a large number of people who could potentially lose coverage which would likely precipitate some kind of action by Congress and state legislatures to try to correct the situation. But other than this, I don't see any major changes on the horizon.
 
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