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Complexities in health care administration driving increased demand for consultants

Midlands Business Journal – July 11, 2014

Changes in Medicare and implementation of the Affordable Care Act have driven the growing demand for specialized accounting services and consulting. The massive ACA is a game changer for the health care industry, said Chris Carlson-Dennell, managing director of Aureus Group, an affiliate of C&A Industries. “Healthcare reform is complicated,” she said. “The rules are different, the oversight is more encompassing, and the only certainty is that the incredible complexities will continue. This gives CPAs, attorneys and consultants a unique position to assist their clients in navigating through the reform.” Carlson-Dennell said healthcare reform is delaying business decisions, including hiring for small businesses. Some small firms have decided to drop coverage “even though it means paying a fine” and encourage employees to purchase their own insurance through the new exchanges. Many organizations are moving to high-deductible plans, lowering premiums, and giving their employees tax-saving options and more consumer responsibility for their providers and costs of services. “We’ve also seen large companies hiring temporary or full-time benefit specialists to assist with the insurance changes,” she said. “A major challenge is that health care reform comes with a time table that stretches out through 2015 and beyond. The IRS and other government agencies will be giving more details as they go, and standard practice will continue to evolve. Changing times result in more specialized accounting, legal, and consulting careers.”