Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

IU Health Starke Hospital
IU Health Starke Hospital

The Supreme Court has upheld President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The law requires individuals not covered by employer or government-sponsored insurance plans to maintain minimal essential health insurance coverage or pay a penalty unless exempted for religious beliefs or financial hardship.

What does that mean for Starke County residents? IU Health Starke Hospital Interim President, David Hyatt, said the hospital is working on quality and reducing the cost of care.

“IU Health as a system has really been implementing and preparing to implement all of the different things that go along with the requirements,” stated Hyatt. “We continue to work on this, but one of the things we’re really focusing on is quality and reducing the cost of care.”

The hospital staff has been preparing for this for about two-and-a-half years.

“A little under 10 percent of IU Health Starke Hospital’s patients are uninsured so this could have a big impact on IU Health Starke Hospital, as well as other hospitals and other small and rural hospitals across the nation.”

Hyatt said the hospital would like to see more regulations regarding reimbursement for quality and keeping the community healthy.

“While we do think that the Affordable Care Act is a positive thing for the hospital and is moving us in the right direction, we do feel that more emphasis on reimbursement for quality and keeping our communities and patients healthier is important. The ACA has made some initial strides in this, but it is lacking in some areas and we’re hoping for that in the future.”

You won’t notice an immediate change for day-to-day operations in terms of care at the hospital but things will change in 2014.

“As the Affordable Care Act comes to more fruition in 2014, we’re excited to see how the impact of health insurance exchanges and many other facets – how it will increase the availability and access of healthcare to those who need it most and who can afford it.”