Doctor Answers Health Care Questions

11:39 PM, Nov 7, 2013   |    comments
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Williamsville, NY - President Barack Obama told NBC News in an exclusive interview Thursday that he is sorry some Americans are losing their health insurance plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act despite promising no one would have to give up a plan they liked.

Dr. John Notaro is part of the Buffalo Medical Group. He is an administrator, but he also sees patients several days a week.

"I think the most common question my patients ask me about the Affordable Care Act is whether it will change my ability to continue seeing them as a patient. Will it change our relationship in any way?" he says.

Notaro says the ACA will change health care at his office.

"I envision myself moving more and more toward a team-based approach," he says.

That's because as more people get insurance, Notaro says the shortage of primary care physicians in Western New York will get worse. Some might stop accepting new patients.

His practice will end up relying more on a team of physician assistants, nurse practitioners and clinical pharmacists, which he says will give you more options.

"Maybe there will be an app on your iPhone that will guide you through this and it will say something like, you can see a physician assistant that Dr. Notaro works for and that person will be available this morning. You could book that appointment at 11:30 this morning. You could see Dr. Notaro. He certainly would see you for this, but his next available appointment might not be until tomorrow afternoon," he explains.

Doctor Notaro is not slammed with new patients just yet.

He also says there are aspects of the Affordable Care Act that will lead to higher premiums, including allowing young people to stay on their parents' policies until they turn 26.

But, he also sees positive aspects.

"Free markets that offer people choices are better, are almost always better for people, and so if the exchanges become really that, really become a marketplace where a patient can go and have an experience, a consumer buying experience like Amazon, for example, where they can become informed, where they can make choices, they can find things that fit their needs if the exchanges actually become that. That will be a better thing for us than if we go to a single payer plan," he says.

Many of Dr. Notaro's patients also ask him whether the Medicare Advantage products are going away. He says the Medicare Advantage program is staying intact, and they will still be able to make appointments with him.

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