Changes You Should Expect At The Local Family Practice Due To Healthcare Reform
With the new implementation of regulations revolving around medical insurance in the last few years, you may find that the expected experience at your family practitioner's office has changed if it has been a while since a visit. While new regulations have brought about changes both good and bad for patients and medical care providers alike, there are a few that will have a direct impact on how family practices operate. Here are a few that you should expect now and in the coming months.
The Addition of New Physicians at One Location
With health insurance now being mandated by the federal government, this equals more people seeking medical are that may have not had insurance for a long time. Therefore, many family practices have become overwhelmed with new patients. The most logical choice for many practices is to bring on another practicing physician to help keep up with the influx of new patients. Do not be surprised if you see a new face in a white coat making the rounds the next time you are in for an appointment.
Changes In Wait Times and Scheduling
It is no surprise that the new people with health insurance will make wait times a bit longer at doctor's offices across the country until the supply of available professionals catches up with the demand. However, some family practices are seeing days when they run behind schedule more than they expected. If you are in for a regular visit, you should probably just be prepared to wait a bit. Furthermore, it may take longer to get in for visit than what you have experienced in the past.
More Strict Adherence to Office Guidelines
Those signs you have always noticed posted at your family physician's office about charges for missed appointments, fees for paperwork, and prescription guidelines may have been easily disregarded in the past by office staff members who had a little time on their hands. Now that new regulations are in place and more patients are involved, you should definitely pay close attention to what these signs say, as it is more likely that rules will be closely enforced.
The only way to handle the doubling amount of work is to ensure that order is maintained and this is what these signs and postings are all about.
That family practice that you could stop in at any time in the past and get the next available appointment slot has most likely changed considerably over the last few years. As medical professionals adapt to the changing healthcare system, there will be more changes to come.