Judge Reed O’Conner, a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, has struck down the Affordable Care Act, clouding its future although, for now, the law will remain in effect. The judge in his ruling, available here and nearly certain to be considered by the Supreme Court, noted that with the individual mandate that persons have insurance being removed last year, the ACA can no longer stand on its own.
“The Individual mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’s Tax power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause—meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional,” O’Conner wrote. “The Individual Mandate is essential to and in severable from the remainder of the ACA.” As the court battles start, here are five ways on how the industry has leveraged the ACA and information technology to innovate, courtesy of the National Center for Biotechnology Information within the National Library of Medicine.
Social-health information exchange includes community-based service organizations and can enable providers to focus on the whole person during a disaster response, addressing acute medical needs as well as housing, shelter and other needs that impact health.
Many hospitals are looking for help with how to meet the Affordable Care Act community benefit requirement, and engaging the community in a health information exchange could be one approach.
Communication technologies, such as telemedicine, enable the sharing of information and expertise remotely and in real-time, extending workforce capacity and increasing quality of care.
Specialists can help manage patients at local hospitals through telemedicine. This could be an important asset when hospitals are surged as these hospitals could benefit from additional workforce from other specialists in unaffected areas.
Education is only a small part of getting people to embrace health information technology. A major component is making IT more user friendly, so that it easy to learn and use.