Medical Treatment Rationing Possibility
Would Obamacare cause Workers Comp medical treatment rationing? Over the past few years, I had commented very often on the interfacing of Obamacare with Workers Compensation.
The number one effect that seems to go unmentioned is the fact that medical care may (keyword may) be rationed overall.
My opinion is not based on any political agenda. It is based on the economic models of Adam Smith developed in the 1700’s – basic supply and demand. One of the hallmarks of the recent economic models (all based on Smith’s) is that if demand is increased for a good or service while the supply stays constant, the price will increase. However, if there is any type of governmental interference, then the whole market goes completely out of whack.
Governmental quotas, price supports, etc. have always thrown the market out of kilter. Would Obamacare be seen as the same type of governmental interference in the market? Supposedly, the numbers of “covered Americans” would approach 100%.
The basic Smith economic models says that when there is an increase in demand – more people seeking healthcare – while there are no more physicians or other healthcare providers being added, then where does that leave the injured Workers Comp patient?
What happens if instead of seeing the physician monthly all of a sudden all Workers Comp patients could only been seen bi-monthly? If a carrier/employer/self insured is paying temporary total benefits, this could be a very vexing problem.
If I was an adjuster, that would drive me totally bonkers. The part of my caseload that was drawing benefits would now be competing with the 100% -covered Americans. Would a boutique network established with for instance, an orthopedist, let my injured workers be seen more often?
The boutique WC network would be a carve-out of a network while an insurance carrier or TPA would pay MORE to have their injured workers seen on a timelier basis.
Of course, none of this may come to fruition. Many articles have been published where Obamacare may not actually cover 100% of Americans. Regardless, there will still be a larger number of people competing for those medical care slots.
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