An article appeared in Forbes Magazine within the last few months by Dr. Siegel which quoted statistics from several surveys reflecting the current mood of healthcare by physicians and highlighting the survey performed by the Doctor Patient Medical ASsociation Foundation whereby 83% of physicians are thinking of quitting due to Obamacare. Ninety percent of physicians feel that Obamacare is pushing medicine in the wrong direction.
“Patients everywhere need to be concerned that Obamacare is putting an enormous new weight on the back of doctors who were already over-burdened.
Worse than our eroding fees and our perpetual fear of malpractice is the yoke we must work under. We want to help our patients but all too often the test or treatment we order is challenged by an insurer. This past week alone I had to argue for three life saving medications and four crucial tests that were initially denied.
Will doctors actually quit or just become more and more unhappy and dysfunctional? Most of us are locked into a career and a lifestyle that we can’t change. We have trained for many years to get to this point. Instead of quitting, most of us will continue to struggle along with the rising Obamacare regulations and restrictions with over a hundred new federal agencies and thirty-three new regulatory committees. We will accept lower incomes amid rising expenses while spending less and less time with our patients because frankly we have no other choice.
Will the best and the brightest continue to choose medicine as a career? Medical school admissions are down by 6% at a time when the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of 160,000 by 2025. And the effective shortage of doctors who will work with Obamacare is far greater. Doctors who are already in practice will drop out of insurances, move to hospitals to work for a salary, or accept cash only. This trend will create a two-tiered system of health care and could be a knife in the back of Obamacare, which relies on physician participation with insurances and its expanded patient load to survive.
How’s that for President Obama’s continued assertion that you get to keep your doctor?
Those of us who manage to remain in private practice and still accept insurance will have to struggle to survive. At a time of Medicaid expansion, consider that Medicaid pays us on average only 56% of what private insurance does. At a time when baby boomers are going to burst the britches on Medicare, consider that Medicare only pays doctors 81% of what private insurance does. Medicaid and Medicare patients are going to find it increasingly difficult to find a doctor regardless of what President Obama says to the contrary.
The time of greedy doctors is long past. Today’s doctors struggle to maintain quality of care, to continue to provide you the patient with the best treatments and technologies available. When we can no longer do this effectively it will be you the patient who suffers the most.”
Note: Marc Siegel MD is an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a member of the Fox News Medical A Team.
The thing is, if there is going to be a mass exodus of physicians, the healthcare delivery system will be in utter chaos and confusion. Patients will be rushed through the system and an increase of medical errors can occur to you, your family, your loved ones.
The time has come to have someone with a medical background to act on your behalf as your medical patient advocate- one who will pour over your chart, go over your problems with you and communication with your healthcare providers as to what was found on your examination, lab tests, and X-rays as well as what the differential diagnosis may be.
There may be a lack of communication between them and you get caught in the middle.
It is time for someone to sit down with you and discuss your medical strategy.