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Bioethics, Conservative, Election 2012, Law, Medicine, Obamacare, Politics

A Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns and Perspectives

Think you can keep your doctor under ObamaCare? Look around at how many of your neighbors have lost their docs just this year, due to the new hassle factors, including mandates for electronic medical records, constant threats of cuts, and repeated delays in payment and changes in the rules.

For the last 10 to 20 years, the question has been whether your doc would keep seeing you after you turned 65 and became Medicare eligible.

Over the next couple of years, the question will be whether your doc will still practice. If he or she does, the question will be whether he will be allowed by law to continue to see you and how the local hospitals divide up all the ObamaCare “exchange” patients. If you’re very lucky, your doc, who will be forced to chose one and only one of the “Accountable Care Organizations,” will choose the same one you’re assigned to.

The Physician Foundation surveyed over 13,000 doctors about their plans for practicing as the regulations and requirements for ObamaCare kick in. The result of the survey, the largest in U.S. history, reveal that over the next 4 years, more than 50% of docs are planning to cut back their hours or services, change to a concierge, cash only, practice or quit the practice of medicine altogether.

The report is here, and this is the Executive Summary:
Executive Summary: American patients are likely to experience significant and increasing challenges in accessing care if current physician practice patterns trends continue, according to a comprehensive new survey of practicing physicians. One of the largest physician surveys ever undertaken in the U.S., the research was commissioned by The Physicians Foundation.

Physicians are working fewer hours, seeing fewer patients and limiting access to their practices in light of significant changes to the medical practice environment, according to the research, titled “A Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns and Perspectives.” The research estimates that if these patterns continue, 44,250 full-time-equivalent (FTE) physicians will be lost from the workforce in the next four years. The survey also found that over the next one to three years, more than 50 percent of physicians will cut back on patients seen, work part-time, switch to concierge medicine, retire, or take other steps likely to reduce patient access. In addition, should 100,000 physicians transition from practice-owner to employed status over the next four years (such as working in a hospital setting), the survey indicates that this will lead to 91 million fewer patient encounters.

via A Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns and Perspectives.

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