According to a survey sponsored by the Doctor Patient Medical Association Foundation, the answer to the question posted in the title is a resounding “yes”. In an article entitled “Doctors Attitudes on the Future of Healthcare: What’s Wrong, Who’s to Blame, and What Will Fix It”, the responses to the survey reveal the crisis that private practice physicians are facing.
- 90% say the medical system is on the WRONG TRACK
- 83% say they are thinking about QUITTING
- 61% say the system challenges their ETHICS
- 85% say the patient-physician relationship is in a TAILSPIN
- 65% say GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT is most to blame for current problems
- 72% say individual insurance mandate will NOT result in improved access care
- 49% say they will STOP accepting Medicaid patients
- 74% say they will STOP ACCEPTING Medicare patients, or leave Medicare completely
- 52% say they would rather treat some Medicaid/Medicare patient for FREE
- 57% give the AMA a FAILING GRADE representing them
- 1 out of 3 doctors is HESITANT to voice their opinion
- 2 out of 3 say they are JUST SQUEAKING BY OR IN THE RED financially
- 95% say private practice is losing out to CORPORATE MEDICINE
- 80% say DOCTORS/MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS are most likely to help solve things
- 70% say REDUCING GOVERNMENT would be single best fix.
The survey respondents* were also provided with the opportunity to present open comments attached to their survey. One of the chief complaints from respondents was the involvement of government in the realm of healthcare and the negative impact that it is having on both the doctor-patient relationship and on the quality of care.
Comments made pertaining specifically to Obamacare are as follows:
The reasons cited range from the deluge of regulatory compliance that siphons time away from patient care, to de facto rationing achieved through complex payment schemes, to cushy relationships that favor corporations and special interests in medicine:
“Unfortunately as regulations have increased there has been a direct impact on the cost of care increasing.” (Anesthesiologist, KY)
“American healthcare is finished. The damage done by government/corporate control is irreversible…Only the powerful will have decent medical care (government employees) Neurologist, FL
“Government gets away with rationing by making doctors the scapegoats when someone alleges that an ACO made a profit by skimping on care.” (Internal medicine, NH)
Doctors say that a key government provision in the Affordable Care Act – the huge expansion of Medicaid enrollees – is likely to backfire, as almost half (49%) say they will stop accepting Medicaid payments.
Medicare draws even more complaints. Three-quarters (74%) say they will stop accepting new Medicare patients or leave it completely. Another 27% say they will start restricting services to their current Medicare patients. “I wish I could opt out completely,” writes one. Another: “Will stop as soon as I can afford to.”
Doctors clearly understand what Washington does not – that a piece of paper that says you are “covered” by insurance, or “enrolled” in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through bureaucratic hoops. “The major problem is the politicians equating health ‘insurance’ with ‘health care,’” writes a family practitioner.
About three out of 4 (72%) say the ACA individual insurance mandate is unlikely or will not improve access to actual medical care.
And they report that insurance companies are often barriers to reforms that would give patients tools to find and negotiate for more affordable care. Fifty-nine percent would post prices or consider posting them, but 40% report that their insurance contracts gag them from disclosing prices.
But the crucial issue for the doctors is that third-party payment by insurance companies instead of direct payment from payments not only increases the costs care by adding compliance costs for them, but also hands over power to the insurance companies to ‘call the shots’ and micro-manage treatment through the power of the purse.
One comment more than any other sums up the most significant concern that Americans should have when evaluating Obamacare:
“There should be much less cronyism and favoritism between medical organizations and government. The PPACA is a monstrous bill designed to give government COMPLETE control over our lives…” (Endocrinologist, FL)
Remember all those comments that the Democrats made about Paul Ryan’s plan “pushing granny over a cliff”?
In reality, by passing and implementing Obamacare, it is the Democrats who would be responsible for pushing private practice physicians over a cliff…and access to health care for millions of Americans will be gone!
Thank you, President Obama and the Democrat Party! /sarc
Vote Romney 2012!
*Survey respondents included 700 private/small practice physicians across 45 states.