10 Ways Healthcare Reform Impacts Private Practice Physicians

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |


Jackson Healthcare released a report on how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has impacted physicians.


Physicians reported how the law is positively and negatively impacting their practices, as some patients are happy to offer patients care who haven't seen physicians in years while others are seeing their high-deductible patients less often.

Here are 10 trends in how healthcare reform has impacted physicians:

1. There are some physicians who are losing patients due to insurance policy cancellations or because their practice could no longer accept the patient's insurance plans. Only around 19 percent have added patients who obtained insurance on the exchanges.

2. The number of physicians in accountable care organizations has grown significantly since 2012 with hospitals and health systems as the leading sponsors of ACOs. Hospital-based medicine specialists and pediatricians are most likely to participate in ACOs.

3. The physicians who participate in ACOs work longer days and are more likely to take call, but they also say their income hasn't changed.

4. Physicians participating in ACOs are more likely to have help from nurse practitioners, physician assistants and foreign medical graduates.

5. The individual mandate brought in a new group of patients, but they are often sicker and require more hands-on treatment, which physicians report is decreasing productivity.

6. Higher deductible health insurance plans cause patients to delay care, especially elective surgery.

7. Physician practices report reimbursement and collection challenges, with 7 percent reporting the most prevalent effect of the ACA rollout being reimbursement decline and more denials. Another 5 percent said the most prevalent effect was the degradation of the payer mix and more patients with Medicaid.

8. Physicians not involved in accountable care organizations are more likely to own or retain ownership in a single-specialty practice, and 17 percent describe their practice as a "solo practice"

9. ACO-participating physicians are more likely to have a favorable outlook on their career in medicine in 2014 and were more likely to encourage a young person to enter the field of medicine than those not participating in ACOs.

10. Physicians not involved in ACOs are more likely to say their practice is not at full capacity and that their income has decreased over the past year. Physicians participating in ACOs are more likely to say their income hasn't changed since 2013.

More Articles on Physician Practices:

Managing a Team: 10 Mistakes to Avoid

7 Effective Employee Engagement Strategies

4 Statistics on Transitioning to EHRs in Medical Practice


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