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Physicians Give Health Law a “D” Grade

"Physician opinions are important since they are a primary driver of healthcare decisions and costs."

Richard L. Jackson, Chairman & CEO

Law has a negative impact on patient/physician relationship

ATLANTA (June 11, 2012) - A new survey by Jackson Healthcare finds that a "D" is the mean grade physicians give the health law, despite its primary intention to reduce the cost of healthcare and provide coverage for the uninsured. Physicians who said they were very knowledgeable about the law were even more negative.

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

Only 12 percent of physicians said the law provides needed healthcare reform. A majority of physicians said the ACA would not improve healthcare's quality, rising costs or patients' control over their own health care. They also said it would worsen the amount of control physicians have over their practice decisions.

The only positive rating physicians gave the ACA was related to access. Fifty-four percent of respondents said the new law will 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, a national healthcare staffing company.  "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 physicians said it would have a negative impact on patient care.

Among Jackson's other key survey 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

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online from May 25 to June 4, 2012. Invitations for the survey were emailed to physicians who have been placed by Jackson Healthcare staffing companies and those who have not. Respondents were self-selected. 2,694 respondents completed the survey. The error range for this survey at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 1.9 percent.

To view the survey or learn more click here.