Coordinating the new health coordinators
There have certainly been more than enough headlines about the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare since it was passed, but the stories seem to usually be about the same things - the program falling apart (or being perceived to be falling apart) in some way or other, and cost. One big piece of the puzzle that I have often wondered about but haven't seen covered much is job creation, specifically the creation of new go-between positions to help individuals better communicate with their doctors. These new positions aren't solely the result of Obamacare — the growing elderly population and evolving approaches to certain chronic diseases are also behind the influx of case managers, facilitators and health coaches.
I went back and forth for a while wondering whether I'd ever get around to doing some sort of freelance project about this topic, but today I'm glad to say a journalist with much more expertise in the area has tackled it in the Times. Paula Span, a reporter and writer I highly admire, took a look at 'The Tangle of Coordinated Health Care' in which many patients and their families now find themselves. The question she answers: now that we have all of these new helpers, how do they coordinate with each other, and how do we keep track of all of them? It's a great piece, definitely worth a read to understand one of the underreported elements of our new health care landscape.