The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act: National Policy Changes Affecting St. Mary’s

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)—also known as Obamacare—was passed to expand healthcare coverage, control healthcare costs and improve the national healthcare delivery system. Recently, healthcare exchanges have been a hot topic, with a troubled rollout of open enrollment. Because St. Mary’s serves a largely low-income and medically complex population, approximately 90% of our patients are already eligible for Medicaid or managed Medicaid. As a result, the new healthcare exchanges are not likely to impact most of our patients. For those patients and families eligible for the exchanges, our expert case managers are prepared to help families navigate the new system.

Another, less publicized focus of the ACA is an emphasis on increasing access—especially among low-income populations such as ours—to community health and wellness programs, with the goal of improving the health of people in the community through better access to primary and preventative care. Better, more accessible care will ensure that patients receive treatment before their conditions advance, thereby reducing overall usage of more expensive healthcare settings such as hospitals and other inpatient settings.

As a pioneer in community healthcare, St. Mary’s is already well ahead of the curve, and aligned with transitions to community health and wellness models that the Affordable Care Act has set in motion. We provide home healthcare services to thousands of patients throughout New York City and Long Island each day, ensuring children with the most medically complex conditions receive long-term rehabilitation, therapies, and nursing in the comfort of their own home. In addition, our Education & Development Programs offer interventions to thousands of children each day.

Not only do these services enable children to remain where they belong—at home, with their families—they contribute to dramatic cost savings to the state and national healthcare systems by preventing more expensive institutional care for our patients. Through our Community Programs and Development & Education Programs, we remain committed to improving the health and wellness of New York’s most vulnerable children. As a testament to St. Mary’s pioneering spirit, we have carried out programs aligned with the ACA’s emphasis on affordable and preventative community care since well before the legislation was even drafted.

St. Mary’s has been committed to affordable care throughout its history. Regardless of your view on the efficacy of the ACA, we hope you stand with St. Mary’s in our longstanding commitment to promoting excellent care at low cost to high-needs populations—both through our inpatient and community services.