Physicians are dissatisfied with the health care reform law and fear that patient care will suffer in the months and years ahead, according to a recent survey conducted by Merritt Hawkins for the Physicians Foundation. Respondents also cited Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which was not addressed in reform legislation, as having a damaging effect on their practice.
Other findings include:
- Sixty percent of physicians said reform will force them to close or restrict their practices to certain categories of patients. Of these, 93 percent would close their practice to or significantly restrict Medicaid patients, and 87 percent would close their practice to or significantly restrict Medicare patients.
- Forty percent of physicians said they would quit practicing medicine in the next three years, either by retiring, seeking a nonclinical job in health care or seeking a nonhealth care-related job.
- More than half of physicians said reform will cause patient volumes in their practices to increase, but 69 percent said they no longer have the time or resources to see more patients while maintaining quality of care.
- Sixty-seven percent of physicians said their initial reaction to the passage of reform was either "somewhat negative" or "very negative," and 86 percent believe physicians' viewpoint was not adequately represented to policymakers during the development of the law.
For more information, go to www.physiciansfoundation.org.