Physician survey reports a failing grade for healthcare reform

A new survey conducted by national healthcare staffing company Jackson Healthcare finds that a "D" is the mean grade physicians give the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Thirty-one percent of surveyed physicians gave the health law an "A" or "B," while 68 percent graded the ACA a "C," "D" or "F."

In addition, 68 percent of American physicians disagree that the ACA will have a positive impact on physician/patient relationship.

Only 12 percent of physicians said the law provides needed healthcare reform.

Jackson Healthcare conducted the survey online between May 25 and June 4, 2012. A total of 2,694 physicians completed the survey. The respondent sample spanned all 50 states.

The only positive rating physicians gave the ACA was related to access. Fifty-four percent of respondents said the new law would increase patients’ access to care. The health law is estimated to drive 13 million new Medicaid enrollees beginning in 2014.

“Physician opinions are important since they are a primary driver of healthcare decisions and costs,” said Richard L. Jackson, chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare, in a prepared statement. “Overall, they believe the law does not meet its intended objectives, negatively impacts the patient-physician relationship and hinders their ability to control the treatment of their patients.”

One important provision in the law set to take effect next year is the Independent Payment Advisory Board charged with finding savings in Medicare. Sixty-four percent of surveyed physicians said it would have a negative impact on patient care.

Among the survey's other key findings:

  • 70 percent said ACA would not stem rising healthcare costs.
  • 66 percent said ACA would give physicians less control over their practice decisions.
  • 61 percent said ACA would not improve the quality of healthcare.
  • 55 percent said Congress should scrap ACA and start over.
  • 49 percent said ACA would give patients less control over their healthcare.
  • 35 percent said it did nothing to reform healthcare.
  • 31 percent said ACA didn't go far enough and a single-payer system is needed.
  • 22 percent said ACA went too far and impedes a physician's ability to practice medicine.

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