Should Doctors Fear This Little-Known Obamacare Change?

Could this obscure rule make a big dent in hospital and physician profits?

Mar 22, 2014 at 8:41AM

The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is well known by now for a variety of changes it is making in the U.S. health care system -- changes such as the Medicaid expansion, the individual mandate requiring people to purchase insurance, and the introduction of the public insurance exchanges for people to shop for said insurance. Scrutiny of the law has increased in the last few weeks as the March 31st enrollment deadline nears.

One of the more obscure rule changes involves a government-mandated 90-day grace period between when people purchase subsidized insurance on the exchanges and when they must pay their first premium to ensure that their coverage continues. At issue is this problem: If the person does not pay their premium, who is on the hook for their medical bills -- health care providers (such as doctors and hospitals) or insurers? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has split responsibility between providers and insurers, with the insurer required to pay for the first 30 days and the provider left with the remaining 60 days' worth. This rule change, which has been in place since 2013, has become more contentious lately due to pushback from physician groups such as the American Medical Association.

In this video, health care analysts Michael Douglass and David Williamson analyze this and other potential risks to hospital stocks like HCA (NYSE:HCA)Tenet Healthcare (NYSE:THC), and LifePoint Hospitals (NASDAQ:LPNT).

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David Williamson has no position in any stocks mentioned. Michael Douglass has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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