Robert Laverty, CEO of the St. Joseph Mercy Health System, began to disseminate a “concept paper for countywide planning” detailing potential impacts of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The paper also included suggestions of how the county should respond.
“Washtenaw County and environs has had a longstanding dilemma of providing effective access to primary care for persons with limited financial resources and/or limited insurance,” Laverty wrote.
With the passage of health reform, Washtenaw County leaders anticipated that a greater number of persons with limited resources would be insured, increasing their potential access to care.
Without a well-conceived action plan that responds to the impending changes, Laverty and others worried about overwhelming the county’s health care providers, about persons newly eligible for insurance failing to apply or becoming frustrated by the application process, and about safety net providers not qualifying for new types of funding for medical homes, federally qualified health centers, and accountable care organizations.