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Buchino serves on a panel related to health care access and utilization

Buchino serves on a panel related to health care access and utilization

Susan Buchino, John Yarmuth, Barbara Casper

Susan Buchino, PhD, OTR/L, SPHIS alumna and assistant director for the Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky presented alongside U.S. Representative John Yarmuth and School of Medicine professor, Barbara Casper, MD, FACP, on the “Healthcare Coverage and the ACA in Kentucky” panel held February 21 in the HSC Kornhauser Auditorium. The event was hosted by UofL medical student members of Students for a National Health Program.

Buchino, whose research focuses on the impact of policies on health care access and utilization, answered a number of questions related to Kentucky, which took part in ACA options to create a state-run health benefit exchange and expand Medicaid. She elaborated on the financial costs and benefits of ACA, which has brought federal funds into the state and resulted in job creation. She described how the ACA has slowed the growth of rising health care costs and health insurance rates while reducing the number of individuals who experience debt and bankruptcy due to medical care.  

“A person working full-time on minimum wage makes $1,257 a month, which currently qualifies for Medicaid under Kentucky’s expansion. Without the benefit of Medicaid, that person is unable to afford an insurance policy at $300 and the additional out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-pays,” Buchino said.

The ACA has significantly reduced Kentucky’s uninsurance rate and the number of people foregoing care due to cost. It also has resulted in increases in the number of individuals with a usual source of care and those receiving preventive care, such as cancer screenings. Buchino also discussed benefits for students, who can remain on their parents plan until age 26 or can apply for Medicaid expansion while they are in school full-time without an income.

The other two panelists, Yarmuth and Casper addressed additional pros and cons of the ACA. Casper described how the ACA has affected providers in terms payment and reimbursement as well as patient adherence and uncompensated care. She also noted the many benefits of ACA in terms of the significantly decreased uninsurance rates and better access to primary care and preventive services.  She explained how access to these services has resulted in improved control of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and increased interest in lifestyle modifications such as tobacco cessation. 

 

 March 21, 2017

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