Study: Physicians Worried About ACA
A new survey of physicians shows they are extremely concerned about the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on their practices.
More than half of the 20,000 physicians surveyed for the 2012 Physician Compensation Report published by Medscape News said they believe new Affordable Care Organizations will reduce their incomes.
According to a review of the report by the National Center for Policy Analysis, nearly half of the physicians believe that new quality measures and treatment guidelines will have a negative impact on patient care. Only 25% believe patient care will improve under the new guidelines.
The changes resulting from the ACA are taking their toll on physicians, whose job satisfaction is collectively plummeting.. The report notes:
Physician frustration is growing. The 2012 survey showed far more dissatisfaction among doctors across all specialties. In 2012, just over one half of all physicians (54%) would choose medicine again as a career, far less than in the prior year (69%).
At Forbes, career reporter Susan Adams reviewed the Medscape report and suggested that "many doctors worry that their reimbursements will come down under [Affordable Care Organizations], since they will no longer directly receive fees for services." Adams concluded, "many medical professionals are nervous that their jobs will be deemed unnecessary."
In speculating about why physicians are so much less happy with their work now than just last year, both the report and Adams at Forbes suggest "declining incomes, excessive paperwork, and vast uncertainty about changes dictated by the Affordable Care Act."
Source: "Physician Compensation Report 2012," Medscape News.
Source: "Why Do So Many Doctors Regret Their Job Choice?," Forbes, April 27, 2012.
Source: "What Physicians Think about Health Reform," National Center for Policy Analysis, May 9, 2012.
Image courtesy of Yuya Tamai used under its Creative Commons license.
Steve O'Keefe is a freelance writer, author and book editor.