Many Docs Negative on Healthcare Reform

John Commins, December 20, 2011

Many physicians believe healthcare reform won't reduce costs or improve access to care, but it will mean less income and autonomy for them, a new survey finds.

"One surprise was the level of denial and mourning that seems to be prevalent among doctors as they look to the future," says Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and lead author of "Physician Perspectives about Health Care Reform and the Future of the Medical Profession."

The Deloitte study also finds that only 25% of physicians consider themselves "very informed" on the details of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, while 71% consider themselves "somewhat informed."

Informed or not, Keckley says many physicians developed strong opinions on healthcare reform years ago and those opinions haven't changed.

That dates back into 2009," he says. "They were despondent that the PPACA did not fix the sustainable growth rate, liability wasn't fixed, and the law did very little to get people to live healthier lives. That has been embedded in medicine now for the last two years."

The national survey of 501 primary care and specialty physicians, conducted in July and August, shows that 73% of doctors are glum about the future of medicine and 69% believe the "best and brightest" who are traditionally drawn to medicine will consider other careers

"They are mourning the 'MDiety,'" Keckley says. "The profession seems to be lamenting that the best days of the profession are behind and there is very little blue skies on the horizon. It's understandable but it is surprising."


John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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