Doctors’ Crystal Ball Shows Trouble Ahead

January 24, 2011


       Hat tip to John Goodman\’s Health Policy Blog for pointing out a recent Thomson Reuters – HCPlexus survey of U.S. doctors\’ predictions on the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a/k/a the Health Care Reform Act of 2010 (“HCRA”). Among the highlights:

1. 65% of respondents said that the quality of health care in the U.S. will deteriorate over the next five years, while only 18% thought it would improve.

2. 78% of respondents thought that health care reform will have a negative impact on physicians, while only 8% predicted  a positive effect. The majority believed that the process for physician reimbursement will become less fair to physicians.

3. 58% of respondents predicted health care reform would have a negative impact on patients, compared with 27% who said it would be positive and 15% who said its effect would be neutral.

4. 45% of all respondents indicated they did not know what an ACO is, and no category or specialty had more than 17% of respondents who were actively participating in discussions to form an ACO.

       You can find an Executive Summary of the survey and obtain the entire report on the HCPlexus website.

       Whether the majority of this survey\’s respondents are right or wrong remains to be seen. But there is no doubt that their prevailing mind-set is driving much of the dialogue among physicians, hospitals and other providers today. Parties on all sides of negotiations and disputes over relationships to be played out over the next five years should take note.