Dr. Chris Lillis has been a stalwart Virginia Organizing supporter and has been an active member of our Health Care Reform Committee. Dr. Lillis is a family physican in Fredericksburg with a private practice. He also volunteers a great deal of time at a local free clinic, providing care for those who would not otherwise be able to afford it.
Dr. Lillis has been an outspoken supporter of the Afffordable Care Act and is the director of the Virginia chapter of Doctors for America. With an active toddler at home, we are not sure where Dr. Lillis finds the time, but he is always available to help out.
The following are excerpts from Dr. Lillis's recent op-ed column in the Fredericksburg Freelance Star on the Affordable Care Act and how it will help patients. Click here for the full article. If you like the column please be sure to comment!
I have heard some doctors express fear and doubt about the PPACA, but this year my practice began receiving bonus payments from Medicare simply for practicing primary care. In addition to the primary care bonuses, all U.S. physicians have been offered bonuses for adopting electronic medical records, electronic prescribing, and quality reporting. The act does not fix all problems related to the cost of health care, but it has begun to realign financial incentives for physicians to foster better quality of care and higher value primary care, which ultimately will bring down health care costs and improve clinical outcomes for the entire nation.
In presentations to local community groups, I often bring up the example of John, a diabetic patient. If I see John for a preventive physical, and catch the earliest stages of diabetes, I can help to prevent the complications of diabetes with a prescription that costs $4 a month. However, if John lacks health insurance and doesn't see me, he may end up in the emergency room five to 10 years later, never having known he was diabetic.
At that point diabetes has ravaged John's body. Perhaps he then needs laser eye surgery due to diabetic retinopathy and the resources to cope with being newly blind. He may need dialysis for failing kidneys, or perhaps a foot or leg amputated as a consequence of uncontrolled diabetes. Anyone can do the math: Four dollars a month for a basic prescription plus the cost of regular office visits versus hundreds of thousands of dollars for hospital stays and drastic procedures that could have been prevented. It makes economic sense to make sure that Americans can see a doctor when it is necessary.