A recent survey performed by Jackson and Coker, a physician staffing agency, shows that nearly half of physicians believe the ACA (Affordable Care Act) will stimulate early retirement or just quitting medical practice.
A total of 3,072 practicing physicians completed the survey on the ACA, which was conducted across the country, involving a wide range of specialties. Of those respondents, 24% practice in internal medicine subspecialties and 10% are primary care/generalists.
When asked how the implementation of the ACA will affect their career time lines, 30% of respondents said they will leave the practice of medicine as soon as it is feasible for them to do so, and 19% said they will practice medicine for a shorter period of time than they originally anticipated.
The survey results also highlighted another major area of concern for physicians – compensation. Seventy-one percent of physicians said they believe the ACA will negatively impact their compensation. That sentiment is consistent with larger reports physicians worried that they will be paid less on the exchanges. Kaiser Health News reported that some insurance companies have reduced payments to physicians, in order to keep premiums lower.
Results from the Jackson & Coker survey include:
- Sixty-six percent of physicians said they would have to spend more time on administrative duties because of the new law.
- Sixty percent of physicians said the quality of patient care would be negatively impacted.
- Sixty-five percent of the physicians said it would have an overall negative impact on their practice.
- Thirty-one percent don’t anticipate a change to their career timeline
- Fifteen percent are unsure how ACA will affect their actions
So, as more people get health insurance, there may be fewer physicians to treat them. This new year is promising to pose an interesting conundrum already!