I often get complaints from patients who have purchased "Obamacare" plans off the healthcare exchanges. They frequently report that they cannot find a doctor and that the costs of these plans are a lot higher than they expected. They come to see me because I am usually a far more economical option even if they can find someone that takes their insurance. I also get asked my opinion on these plans.
My thoughts on healthcare reform to a large degree are summarized in an article from the magazine Medical Economics. The headline on the front cover reads reads "U.S. Physicians tell us why they hate healthcare reform."
The actual article entitled "Obamacare report card" uses the feedback generated from 200 physicians nationwide to rate eight 'provisions and consequences (both intentional and unintentional) stemming from the law.'" Each physician ranked each element from a score of 0 to 10. (0 being not at all helpful to 10 being extremely helpful).
The categories surveyed included:
Medicare bonus for primary care services
Increased coverage through healthcare insurance exchanges
Accountable care organizations
Physician ratings via the physician compare website
Expansion of health IT
In all eight categories the physicians gave "Obamacare" an "F" grade. The highest grade given was 35 out of 100. The lowest was 26. These are pretty abysmal scores.
Many of these categories may not mean much to you but they do impact physicians significantly and hence patients both directly and indirectly.
One of the primary reasons for healthcare reform was supposedly to increase health care coverage. When this group of physicians were asked how they would rate how well "Obamacare" has accomplished this goal through the healthcare exchanges they gave it a paltry 35 out of a 100 score. Some of the physician comments included "coverage is shockingly bad, and at a high price" and "more coverage is good, but more coverage does not equal more access."
In addition, healthcare insurance companies such as United and Aetna have reported that they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars on these policies and plan to either significantly increase the premiums or exit the marketplaces altogether.
This will also be a pivotal issue in the upcoming election. Depending on the outcome, it remains to be seen what healthcare reform will look like in the next few years.
If you have questions about healthcare reform or how my practice fits into the equation feel free to call or email me. For more information visit the contact page.
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