Nearly half of physicians believe Obamacare will impact their career time lines, survey finds

November 29, 2013

While the overall impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still largely undetermined, it seems to have many physicians re-evaluating their length of stay in practice.

 

While the overall impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still largely undetermined, it seems to have many physicians re-evaluating their length of stay in practice. A recent survey shows that nearly half of physicians believe the ACA will somehow impact their career timelines by either leaving practice earlier than they planned or in some cases, leaving it as soon as possible.

Jackson & Coker, a physician staffing firm, surveyed 3,072 practicing physicians in a variety of specialties. Of those respondents, 24% practice in internal medicine subspecialties and 10% are primary care/generalists. 

When asked how the implementation of the ACA will affect their career time lines, 30% of respondents said they will leave the practice of medicine as soon as it is feasible for them to do so, and 19% said they will practice medicine for a shorter period of time than they originally anticipated.

However, 31% said they do not anticipate making any changes to their career timeline and 15% remain unsure.

The survey results also highlighted another major area of concern for physicians – compensation. Seventy-one percent of physicians said they believe the ACA will negatively impact their compensation. That sentiment is consistent with larger reports physicians worried that they will be paid less on the exchanges. Kaiser Health News reported that some insurance companies have reduced payments to physicians, in order to keep premiums lower.

Other notable findings from the Jackson & Coker survey include:

  • Sixty-six percent of physicians said they would have to spend more time on administrative duties because of the new law.

  • Sixty percent of physicians said the quality of patient care would be negatively impacted.

  • Sixty-five percent of the physicians said it would have an overall negative impact on their practice.