Call it the PPAC, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, the impact on consumers has yet to be seen. That being said, it is obvious that the new healthcare mandate will change how patients relate to their doctors, hospitals, drug companies and other providers in the industry.
One of the primary goals of the PPAC is for consumers to take greater responsibility for their own well-being, especially with preventative medicine, good nutrition and regular exercise. The Act provides rewards for doctors to keep their patients healthy and delay complications from chronic diseases. There are no copays for preventative care and wellness. In essence, the law is allowing for both patients and providers to be proactive and emphasize health over disease.
In the past, people relied on their doctor to diagnose and prescribe. Now, consumers are doing their own research on the Internet and calling pharmaceutical companies in greater numbers to ask questions about medications and possible side effects. Patients and caregivers are arriving at the doctor’s office more prepared and able to have a higher quality dialog about their physical condition.
How will the new law affect us? Remains to be seen but the hope is that the consumer will step up to the plate and take charge. Just as we would investigate buying a new car or computer, we will do the same with our health care. The expectation with PPAC is that doctors and pharmaceutical companies will encourage patients to be better educated and take positive steps to feel good and maintain that status quo.