|Thompson & Knight Attorney Wilson Jones quoted in The Texas Lawbook article |
Healthcare Lawyers: Supreme Court Decision "Anti-Climatic" and Business As Usual
|June 28, 2012 11:59 pm|
The Texas Lawbook:
Texas Republican leaders delayed planning for health care reform, choosing instead to put all their bets on the law being found unconstitutional. Now that it has been upheld in a 5-4 decision, they have to consider how to implement the law.
"One thing that's clear, the state of Texas has now got to get over their immediate negative reaction, roll up their sleeves and get to work because they've got some work to do," said Wilson Jones, a partner in the Dallas office of Thompson & Knight who represents corporate health clients.
For hospitals, health insurers and physicians who have been quietly implementing portions of the Affordable Care Act for the past two years, the ruling means they don't have to reset their efforts. There was a clear sense of relief that the court didn't do what many observers had predicted: throw out the individual mandate while keeping other requirements intact.
Instead, the court determined that the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance was within Congress' taxing authority.
"For hospitals, more insured people are coming through the doors," said Jones. "Doctors, yes, are getting more insured patients but the compensation for seeing them is fairly low and now tied to quality metrics."
The ruling is especially good news for one of Thompson & Knight's clients, North Texas Specialty Physicians. The association of more than 600 family and specialty doctors has partnered with Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based health systems in the U.S., to implement a key feature of the law known as Accountable Care Organizations, or ACO.
The federal government selected the entities as one of 32 pioneer models to improve patient health while reducing the rate of growth in Medicare. If care is improved by reducing hospital readmissions, for example, the doctors and hospitals will enjoy financial benefits, Jones said.
© Copyright 2012 - The Texas Lawbook.
Send this page to a friend