How the Healthcare Bill Can Affect Salaries

The Healthcare Bill that was pushed through by the United States government is now a done deal. However, even though the healthcare bill only aims to make healthcare services available to all Americans as much as possible, it is time that everyone should know its effects on salaries and wages. This healthcare bill reform will have lasting effects on employment benefits and wages. It is a known fact that out of all the other developed countries around the world, the cost of healthcare in the United States is skyrocketing.

With the implementation of the Healthcare Bill, all companies will have to balance the cost of healthcare-related services with the competitiveness of their organization. Healthcare benefits are still the best benefit offered by companies. To reduce the costs of production, most companies reduce things such as bonuses, medical insurance, social benefits or activities, and tuition reimbursements. The top benefits that other companies have totally discontinued are bonuses, tuition reimbursements, pension plans, profit sharing, and exercise facilities. The 401(k) plan is the most reduced employment benefit.

These are some benefits that are greatly reduced by the Healthcare Reform Bill. However, on a more personal level, there are still some financial issues that need to be discussed. This Healthcare Bill will now require Americans to procure healthcare insurance starting in 2014. Only those who can declare financial hardships and those with religious beliefs that prohibit certain medical care as well as the American Indians are those who will be exempted from this provision. For those who do not belong to any of these three categories, there will be financial penalties applied to those without insurance. The penalty will start at 1% of their salary in 2014, and it could go up to as much as 2.5% by 2016.

This healthcare reform will also greatly affect taxes as well. There will be an increased tax on those earning more than $200,000 annually, with a 1.45% increase, and their Medicare tax will go up to 2.35%, beginning in 2013. This is designed to help provide Medicaid for poorer, low-income families. These families will also be helped to access insurance through provision of federal subsidies. Overall, the healthcare reform plans to enable 95% of Americans to be covered by insurance, with 30 million uninsured being able to get coverage within the decade. Medicaid coverage will also be expanded so that children will be covered by their parents until they are 26 years old.

However, this healthcare reform doesn’t come cheap. Healthcare insurance will be an added expense for Americans, and healthcare providers and insurers under Medicaid may also experience cuts in their salaries in order to help balance things out.

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Mobile Apps in the Focus of Healthcare Industry

Recent findings of healthcare research companies indicate that mobile platforms are redefining the medical industry and the traditional doctor-patient relationship. Both healthcare providers and consumers are using smartphones and tablets as a means to achieve better results in the sphere of medical care.

The practice of using mobile communication devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PDAs, for health services and information has got the name of mHealth (or mobile health). Thus, mHealth applications allow patients to manage and improve health by collecting information about their vital signs and delivering it to practitioners in order to receive the appropriate consultations or treatment. However, not only consumers are taking advantage of mobile technologies, since mHealth applications are to a great extent designed for healthcare professionals, including doctors, clinicians, and nurses that need real-time access to patients’ histories, appointment schedules, drug prescription details, billing data, and other practice related information.

A huge number of medical companies and institutions have already recognized the potential of mobile applications for healthcare. They allocate budgets and invest in developing medical apps for mobile devices, such as, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, as wells other popular smartphones, tablets, and PDAs. Nowadays there exist several thousands of mobile health apps. Such applications are intended for the following purposes:

Mobile apps provide healthcare specialists with real-time access to the medical records of patients and allow tracking their physical state indicators, symptoms, disease flow, nutrition habits etc.
Healthcare apps enhance such procedures as scheduling and billing, medication prescribing and drug interaction checking.
Mobile healthcare apps facilitate communication between doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, for example, through discussions of medical cases in online forums.
Mobile apps can provide users with the information about local healthcare facilities, as well as with an access to a searchable database of available physicians, dentists, cosmetologists, etc.
Healthcare applications can help in epidemic outbreak forecast and monitoring.
Mobile apps may contribute to the promotion of healthcare education and wellness awareness.
In such a way, the positive features of mHealth apps lead to the productivity increase of healthcare businesses, as well as to the improvement of medical information collection and transmission, since such apps allow healthcare specialists to work remotely and still to have access to the critical medical data. This makes it possible to provide customers with diagnostic and treatment support.

The technical level of mHealth applications is increasing and they are getting more sophisticated. Moreover, according to certain studies, it is expected that 500 million people will be using healthcare mobile apps in 2015. Therefore, the development and implementation of such mHealth applications is a business guideline for healthcare companies wishing to successfully operate on the medical care market. More and more traditional healthcare providers are already widening their health services by suggesting consumers an option to make use of helpful mobile applications.

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