Changes to health care subject of Garlands forum

BARRINGTON – The impact of the Affordable Care Act and future changes in health care will be the subject of a forum at The Garlands of Barrington.

The program, sponsored by the Barrington History Museum, is titled “Health Care: What can we expect as new laws take effect? Is there a Medicare problem?”  

It will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, at the senior living and retirement community located at 1000 Garlands Lane in Barrington.

Todd Van Nest, a professional speaker, will be the moderator of the event that will feature Karen Lambert, president of Barrington Good Shepherd Hospital; physicians George Christy, Bruce Bell and Richard McDonough; physician and author Dale Coy; and insurance executive Steve Tucker.

Guests will listen to a 45-minute presentation by three of the speakers, to be followed by a 45-minute question-and-answer session.

“It’s entirely grounded in the application and implication of the Affordable Care Act,” Van Nest said.

Guests will learn about the consequences of the new health care act in terms of financial impact, patient access and quality of service.

According to Van Nest, health care costs probably will continue to increase with the new health care laws.

“They probably will be going up in some way, shape or form,” he said.

Since the program is being held at The Garlands retirement community, Van Nest said panelists will spend a good amount of time talking about Medicare and what seniors can expect in terms of the impact of the new health care laws.

The program will cover changes that already have taken place with the Affordable Care Act and those that will be put into place in January 2014.

“There are a lot of changes that are coming at us because of the new law,” said Ed Roney, director of the Barrington History Museum.

Instead of just reading about the new health care laws, the upcoming program provides a personal view based on their experiences in the health care system.

“We’re trying to highlight the implications as the act goes in place,” Van Nest said. In addition to the financial impact, patients also are affected by things such as changes in wait times at a doctor’s office.

“We try to partner with other organizations that offer information that is going to be beneficial to our members,” said Jill Lund, activities director at The Garlands. “Since Medicare and the differences in our political system is something our members need to be educated about, we love to partner with organizations about this.”

Lund said it is convenient for residents at The Garlands because they don’t have to drive anywhere to get to the program.

Roney said the upcoming program is a unique program for the history museum to put on.

“It’s not ancient history,” Roney said. “It’s what’s going on now. We’re trying to find programs that the community enjoys.”

All of the panelists have spoken at various forums about health care. Van Nest is involved with a leadership and change program for a large health care system in Peoria.

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