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Survey finds health-care reform bad for patients, worse for doctors
Date:1/18/2011

The newly released 2011 Thomson Reuters - HCPlexus National Physicians Survey (NPS) links doctors' fears that their pay will go down under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called Healthcare Reform Act (HCRA), with their concerns that the quality of care will also deteriorate. The study includes responses from 2,958 doctors of varying specialties and practice types, from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

The NPS is the most comprehensive survey of physicians surrounding their thoughts on the future of healthcare, including ideas on the PPACA, Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO).

Lower Pay Means Lower Quality Care

The NPS data show doctors' fear that the quality of care will deteriorate under PPACA and that their reimbursements (pay) will go down as well. When asked about the quality of healthcare in the U.S. over the next five years, 65 percent of the doctors believed it would deteriorate with only 18 percent predicting it would improve. Interestingly, consumer perception is far more optimistic, with close to 30 percent of consumers believing care will improve under PPACA.

When asked who would treat the 32 million Americans receiving healthcare under PPACA, 55% suggested a Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant would administer care.

"It is likely that with increased demand for general surgeons, rising overhead costs and decreasing reimbursement, there will be many of us simply retiring or finding other opportunities rather than accept the risks of surgical practice and below minimum wage benefits," said a surgeon from Arizona.

Patient Impact Shows Slightly More Positive Outlook

But when it comes to patients, doctors have a slightly different view. When asked about the impact of reform on patients, only 58 percent were negative with 27 percent saying reform would be positive. They also believe that PC
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Contact: Darlene Hollywood
darlene@dhollywoodpr.com
781-264-0511
Welch's
Source:Eurekalert

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