Physicians in the Dark about How Health Insurance Exchanges Will Work
7/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Physicians in the Dark about How Health Insurance
Exchanges Will Work
A new survey of independent physicians from LocumTenens.com reveals physician confusion about how new policies will impact them
Alpharetta, Ga., July 23, 2013-With the
deadline for the launch of healthcare insurance exchanges looming,
more than half of the nation's physicians have little faith that
the exchanges will launch on time and have little knowledge as to
how the new policies will affect their practices, a new LocumTenens.com physician survey finds.
Major findings from the survey include that less than 11 percent of physicians believe the exchanges will be ready by the Oct. 1, 2013 deadline, and most have no idea what to expect from an administrative perspective when newly-insured patients start arriving for treatment in January 2014. A detailed summary of the survey findings can be found here.
"Everything in the news right now about the Affordable Care Act is about enrollment, and that is the logical first step" said Shane Jackson, president and chief operating officer of LocumTenens.com, a full-service physician staffing agency and leading industry job board. "As major stakeholders and advocates in this effort, physicians should be educated about how these changes impact them, their patients and prospective patients. Our survey shows that for the most part, they are in the dark."
Other survey responses revealed how unsure physicians are about the administrative and financial impacts of policies purchased from exchanges. More than 56 percent were not at all familiar with how the new policies would impact their businesses, 70 percent were not at all familiar with how the claims process would work and 67 percent were not at all familiar with patient coverage terms, such as grace periods, that might affect payment for services. Fifty five percent of responding physicians expect their bad debt to increase under the Affordable Care Act.
Responding physicians felt that their patient volume would increase by 13.4 percent due to the new insurance access. Physicians also felt that more consumer education needed to be done, with 89 percent saying they did not think consumers had been adequately educated about how these new insurance policies will function.
"This is a patient population who, in many cases, hasn't had access to insurance and aren't familiar with how it works and what it covers, Jackson said. "Physicians' practices will play a major role in helping people who've never had access to insurance before understand how it works. There is a major lack of awareness both on the physician side as well as the patient side that is troubling."
About the Survey
Physician staffing firm and online job board LocumTenens.com surveyed independent physicians in June 2013. The error rate for this survey was +/- 4.3 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
Founded in 1995, LocumTenens.com is a full-service locum tenens staffing agency. LocumTenens.com operates the largest internet job board for the industry with direct access to thousands of jobs - in all specialties - posted directly by facilities and agencies nationwide. LocumTenens.com is part of the Jackson Healthcare family of companies. To learn more, visit www.locumtenens.com.
LocumTenens.com's agency recruiters specialize in emergency medicine, primary care, ob/gyn, anesthesia, neurology, psychiatry, radiology, urology, gastroenterology and most surgical subspecialties. We place physicians, CRNAs, NPs and PAs in hospitals, medical groups and community health centers across the United States.