Wellmont hosts public forum on healthcare reform

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Long lists of questions are being addressed for those wondering how the Affordable Care Act will impact them.

Wellmont Health System hosted a public forum Friday to help explain what healthcare providers, businesses, and even individuals can expect in the coming years.    

Forum leaders explained details of the act, how healthcare will shift toward a focus on primary and preventative care, and how insurance costs could change.    

We learned that's what many business leaders in attendance have the most questions about. "We'd most like to know how the changes down the road in 2014 and later are going to impact not only our employees and what they pay but what we pay also, and how we can structure our healthcare costs and programs to more better align with what we're going to be hit with," said David Oakley, President and CEO of Strongwell Corp.

Hospital leaders said they have concerns about individuals opting for a penalty fee rather than buying mandated insurance. They fear that won't help lower their cost of uncompensated care.

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