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Understanding The Affordable Care Act: N.J. Hospital Improves Care, Cuts Costs

Online Exchanges Provision Takes Effect On Oct. 1
Cardiac patient Louis Ferreira uses his tablet issued by Hackensack University Medical Center's Accountable Care Organization. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Cardiac patient Louis Ferreira uses his tablet issued by Hackensack University Medical Center’s Accountable Care Organization. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

CBS New York (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSNewYork.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSNewYork.com/Health

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The online exchange aspect of the federal Affordable Care Act goes into effect on Oct. 1.

But as WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported in Part 6 of her series Understanding The Affordable Care Act, one hospital in Bergen County, N.J. has already reduced emergency room visits and saved millions of dollars under the new law.

Louis Ferreira, 86, of Fair Lawn, N.J. has made repeated visits to Hackensack University Medical Center due to his congestive heart failure.

“Very long, I own the hospital. I’m gonna change the wing,” Ferreira told Diamond.

He was chosen by the hospital’s Accountable Care Organization for in-home care and he’s one of six patients who get a computerized tablet monitored by nurse Noreen Hartnett.

“So if he misses a medication for some reason, if he forgets or he’s sleeping, then I will call him,” Harnett said.

WEB EXTRA: UNDERSTANDING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

ACO president Dr. Morey Menacker said the system, which monitors 12,000 Medicare patients, is working.

“Medicare has given us feedback that in the first 12 months, we spent approximately $10 million less than they had expected to pay out,” he told Diamond.

Ferreira’s wife Marge said Luis has made one trip to the ER in the past month.

“I feel like it’s a new lease on life,” Marge Ferreira said. “We call him our angel in disguise.”

In Part 7 of her series, Diamond will speak with a Brooklyn restaurant owner about his plans to insure his employees under the Affordable Care Act.

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