Chris-Care: Providing the Health Care His Patients Need

By Dori Salcido, HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Posted November 29, 2012

Dr. Chris Lillis practices primary care medicine in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His patients range from 14 to 102, with about 40 percent of his practice being Medicare enrollees. He loves primary care medicine because “you really get to know your patients. ...I get to help them stay healthy through good times and navigate the health care system through difficult times.”

Because of the health care law, Dr. Lillis says his patients can get affordable health coverage and are better able to pay for their prescriptions.

“The Affordable Care Act absolutely is making a difference for my patients—the young folks who can stay on their parents’ insurance plans [and] my Medicare beneficiaries who can now afford their medicines more easily, especially when they fall into the coverage gap, the so-called ‘donut hole,’” said Dr. Lillis.

“In years past, I can remember patients who chose to avoid their screening mammogram or their screening colonoscopy because a deductible or copay was just too high and they had to make a decision between [paying] for the gas in the tank of their car or [getting] a preventive screening that could potentially save their life,” Dr. Lillis says. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, people don’t have to make those choices any more. They can receive their preventive care screenings without out-of-pocket costs, which is the best kind of care we can deliver as primary care doctors.”

And importantly, the Affordable Care Act encourages doctors to coordinate care for patients. The health care law is “going to help us focus on quality, not quantity. I want my patients to get the health care I think they need. The Affordable Care Act does that. It’s knocking down barriers to care,” he says.