Health care reform survey: What physicians think
A national survey conducted last September asked more than 2,900 physicians what they think of the future in light of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The results were released last week.
- Sixty-five percent of respondents believe the quality of health care in the United States will deteriorate during the next five years, with many respondents blaming insurance companies and the health care reform act.
- Forty-four percent of respondents believe that the 32 million Americans estimated to receive coverage under the health care reform act will be treated mostly by nurse practitioners. Primary care physicians received the same percentage in the survey.
- Seventy-eight percent of respondents believe the overall impact of the health care reform act will be negative, with 74 percent saying physician reimbursement will become "less fair." Write-in comments suggest a growing frustration with non-physician providers being compensated similarly to primary care physicians.
- Fifty-eight percent of respondents believe health care reform will be negative for patients as well. Pediatricians and psychiatrists were the most optimistic on this question, while surgeons and ophthalmologists were the least optimistic.
- Twenty-four percent of respondents believe EHRs will have a negative effect on patient care; 37 percent believe the effects of EHRs will be neutral; and 39 percent believe EHRs will have a positive effect. Physician concerns included privacy and security issues as well as the effect of EHR use on the doctor-patient relationship.
- Forty-five percent of respondents indicated that they do not know what an accountable care organization (ACO) is. The health care reform law promotes ACOs as a way to address health care costs and quality. Only 12 percent of respondents indicated they are in discussions to form an ACO.