Physicians’ political views on healthcare reform vary widely, but the findings of a recent survey by Jackson Healthcare show that many agree on at least one thing: PPACA does not sufficiently reform the U.S. healthcare system.
Overview of the Results from the PPACA Survey
In January 2011, Jackson Healthcare conducted an online national survey of physicians to ascertain whether respondents believe PPACA effectively addressed previously stated physician concerns about healthcare reform. Those concerns, identified in earlier physician surveys by Jackson Healthcare, were stated as such:
- Defensive medicine is a key driver of the ever-expanding cost of U.S. healthcare
- Defensive medicine has important effects beyond cost
- Tort reform fails to reduce the practice of defensive medicine
1,440 physicians completed the latest survey. Analysis of the responses indicates physicians do not believe PPACA provides the necessary reforms to alleviate their concerns
Physician respondents, the majority of whom considered themselves knowledgeable or very knowledgeable about the act, gave PPACA an average grade of D.
Respondents frequently criticized PPACA for representing only insurance reform, not healthcare delivery, and for failing to address the problem of physician shortages and medical malpractice.
Key Findings from Jackson Healthcare PPACA survey
- Nine out of ten physicians do not believe PPACA provides effective reform:
- 38 percent believe PPACA did nothing to reform the healthcare system
- 31 percent believe PPACA did not go far enough; a single payer system is necessary
- 22 percent believe PPACA went too far and will impede physicians’ ability to practice medicine
- Female physicians, physicians 55 and older, and those practicing behavioral medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, general internal medicine are more likely to believe PPACA does not go far enough to address healthcare reform concerns and a single payer system is needed
- Physicians younger than 55 and those specializing in physical medicine, surgical subspecialties, internal medicine subspecialties, radiology, anesthesiology are most likely to believe PPACA goes too far and impedes physicians
- 52 percent of physician respondents believe PPACA will negatively affect their practice through decreased reimbursements, revenues and longer work days
- 20 percent of physician respondents believe PPACA will positively affect their practice as more patients access care and the number of no-pay cases decreases
- 11 percent of physicians are making changes to their practices in response to PPACA, including EMR / HER implementation, changing careers / retiring, opting out of Medicare / Medicaid
- 41 percent of physician respondents voted in opposition to PPACA and politicians who supported it in the 2010 midterm election
- Physicians are equally divided on whether PPACA should be repealed (52 percent in favor of repeal vs. 48 percent)
- Physicians who are against repealing PPACA believe it is an imperfect but necessary first step in healthcare reform
In January 2011, Jackson Healthcare conducted a web-based survey of 1,440 physicians. The survey has an error range at the 95% confidence level of +/-1.7%. Physician responses were weighted by specialty.
Published February 2011