As you know, the majority of the citizens of our country do not want health care reform as it was passed. Most believe that the Health Care Reform Act of 2010 will have negative consequences for physicians, their employees, and patients. But what do physicians think?
The 2011 National Physicians Survey recently published by Thomas Reuters/ HCPlexus provides some interesting answers to the question. In the survey physicians were asked questions about the quality and delivery of health care, reimbursement, and the impact on patients and physicians of the Health Care Reform Act of 2010 (HCRA). The report is based on the responses of almost 3,000 physicians, including primary care and specialists, from every state in the United States.
Quality of Health Care
When asked about the quality of health care, an overwhelming majority of physician respondents, 65%, believe that the quality of health care will deteriorate in the next five years as a result of the Health Care Reform Act. Only 18% of respondents believe the quality of
health care will improve in this country. This is significant to all of us, as we all are consumers of medical care at some time or other.
Who Will Be Taking Care of Patients?
Physicians were asked who will be treating the increased numbers of patients who will have health insurance because of the Health Care Reform Act. Respondents indicated that these patients will be cared for mostly by Primary Care physicians and Nurse Practitioners. Of
special interest is that physicians believe that these patients will be cared for in equal numbers by Primary Care physicians (44%) and Nurse Practitioners (44%).
What About Physician Reimbursement?
Not surprisingly, the great majority of physicians (74%) believe that reimbursement will be less fair due to the Health Care Reform Act. Of all specialities, surgeons, in particular Orthopedic Surgeons, took the most negative view, with 92% stating that reimbursement will be less. If reimbursement declines, physicians will have to find ways to cut practice costs, which will affect not only the physician but all those employed by physicians.
Impact on Patients
A majority of the physicians surveyed, 58%, believe that the Health Care Reform Act will have a negative patient impact. It is simply impossible to increase or maintain the quality of heath care, to a greater number of patients, and reduce costs. Something has to give.
Hopefully, the Health Care Reform Act will be repealed, and replaced by better legislation, before it can harm physicians, their practices, and their patients. To read the complete report, visit http://www.hcplexus.com/Survey.