Researchers from Harvard Medical School examined data on more than 1 million adults with cardiovascular disease (“CVD”) and Cardiovascular Risk Factors (“CVRFs”) conditions and concluded that three years after ACA implementation more than 20 million people with cardiovascular disease still lacked health insurance. The study also found Americans with cardiovascular disease (“CVD”) and Cardiovascular Risk Factors (“CVRFs”) were less likely to skip a physician visit because of cost. All together, 9.8 million gained coverage under the ACA.
Millions of Americans with these conditions remain uncovered, and many of those will likely suffer serious complications and even death because they cannot get the care they need. Some different reasons also impact access to care. These include high out-of-pocket costs, and services unavailable where they reside. Many rural areas lack cardiovascular surgeons and must travel by car or by air to access the surgery they need.
Another factor is that Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) have not yet been approved to perform many cardiovascular procedures, leaving the to deal with the unchecked, non-competitive pricing and lack of bundled price transparency for consumers. The hospitals rolled out a program for Medicare beneficiaries, but in many instances, the same prices are not available to independent uninsured or under-insured consumer patients. This is also the case with many of the surgery shopping websites that only sell to self-insured employers. SurgeryShopper.com is one of the very few that invites consumers to shop and access care at its published prices regardless of payer, insurance or litigation.
“Once Medicare and insurers begin to open the option to use ASCs as has happened with joint replacement and spine procedures, the hospitals will be whining and complaining and mud-slinging instead of responding or getting out in front of the disruption. That’s because these procedures represent the lion share of revenue-per-case in the hospitals that perform cardiovascular surgeries,” says Maria Todd of AskMariaTodd, a U.S. based healthcare industry consultant and medical tourism business development expert.