Changing Healthcare in the Era of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Jerry Morris


The new healthcare law (ACA) is a "sea change" that becons for real change in the healthcare system.  However, the Medical Industrial Complex (hospital and health facility corporations, physicians, and drug companies) is and has been resistant to change and is likely to remain oppositional to a shift to science based treatment, staffing, and programs.  The extant healthcare facilities and programs are dominated by the current culture of the medical system and is a "maintanence management philosophy system" rather than dominated by early adopters as practitioners, facilities, or patients.  As such it has resisted any but superficial and window dressing changes for several generations.  However, the ACA is shifting the primary and secondary reinforcers (money, regulation and permission to participate, and informational support-data) to bring leverage to bear on the Medical Induatrial Complex as has never previously occured.  In this new dynamic and Induatry and Markets Reorganization the fundamental economics and functions of competition, supply, and demand, and the options for product development have changed.

Psychologists have not been positioned well by their national association, educational establishment, and specifics of the law to be a significant player in this new and emerging system.  However, some psychological specialties, post graduate training programs shepherded by practitioner psychologists and the practitioner movement, and the willingness of psychologists to prepare significant groups of practitioners to lead in the new system have the opportunity to seize opportunities for themselves and "early adoptor healthcare administrators, physicians and physician groups, and communities and thier facilities.

The success of the ACA will not be in the law, but in the willingness of the players to implement science, staffing flexibility, collaborative care models and truely integrated care, and to tolerate and champion real change!


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