Physician predictions for 2017

December 13, 2016

Physicians from across the nation look into the future to predict what the coming year might bring for healthcare.

 

 

Physicians from across the nation look into the future to predict what the coming year might bring for healthcare.

We asked members of the Medical Economics Editorial Advisory Board and Reader Reactor Panel (a group of 270 physicians nationwide) to do their best prognosticating on what the next calendar year would mean for them and their peers. Here’s what they said.

 

 

"Hopefully, premiums and deductibles will reduce significantly. As a small practice, it is one-third of our annual budget and going up every year. [And] MACRA needs to go. I see no use for the added hassle for all of us."

Pankaj R. Desai, MD, FACP
Internist
Owings Mills, Maryland

 

 

 

"I think more primary care physicians will move out of clinical practice or retire as the ‘paperwork’ outweighs the ‘patient work."

 

Donna Farrell, MD
Family physician
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

 

"Under a Trump presidency … I hope some of the rules and regulations will be abolished and we might even get a raise for a change. I don’t think Trump will be able to do anything meaningful at the federal level as far as tort reform or getting rid of maintenance of certification / recertification, but you never know. If anyone can do it, it’s him!"

 

David W. Allison, MD
Plastic surgeon
Gainesville, Virginia

 

 

"Many elements of [Speaker] Paul Ryan and the Republican House’s healthcare plan will likely be implemented, including expansion of health savings accounts, interstate sales and portability of health insurance products and the removal of the individual mandate."

"Plus, look for EHR vendors to continue to merge and consolidate into a handful of marketplace options."

 

John L. Bender, MBA, MD, FAAFP
Family physician
Fort Collins, Colorado

 

 

"[My prediction is] very simple: So much uncertainty, even with Trump's win. I anticipate more physician retirements, more concierge practices, more direct-care setups and probably more physician assistants, advanced nurse practitioners and other physician extenders."

 

David A. Berkowitz
Internist
Somerville, New Jersey

 

 

"I suspect the U.S. will at some time in the future join the vast majority of advanced (and not-so-advanced) countries in the world by having universal healthcare that does not jeopardize the financial status of its citizens. I am not sure that I will see this in my lifetime (I am 65 years old). And I am not aware of a viable replacement plan for the ACA from President-elect Trump."

 

Jonathan R. Dreazen, MD
Family physician
Reading, Pennsylvania

 

 

"Hopefully, MACRA, PQRS and Meaningful Use go away."

Marc Feinberg, MD
Neurologist
Boca Raton, Florida

 

"I predict continued gridlock relative to healthcare, despite the ‘stacked GOP situation [in] Congress and the White House. While President-elect Trump appears fiscally conservative, I don't think many in Congress will go along with him on many issues in addition to healthcare."

Richard Elliott, MD
Family physician
Sun City West, Arizona

 

"A couple of predictions:
 •Things will not look good for family practice. We get more referrals and consult authorization demands (Let's not kid ourselves, it's not a ‘request’), while the patient is sitting in the specialist’s office for an appointment we did not know about.
 •25% of my patients lose their health insurance. We go back to bartering with many folks. On the positive side, I no longer have to cram a year's worth of care into their one ‘free visit’ a year."

Sue Osborne, DO
Family physician
Floyd, VA

 

"1. Obamacare repeal. 2. Reinstitution of “pre-existing conditions” [under a Republican plan]. 3. Healthcare prices continue to elevate secondary to the consolidation of care to larger institutions leaving patients with impossible deductibles."

Dan Logan, DO
Family physician
Dayton, Tennessee

 

"New vaccination for shingles (herpes zoster) will be approved and CMS will recommend for all patients over age 50. [And] genetic engineering advances such as gene splicing with CRISPR/Cas9 will result in several new target cancer treatments and progress toward treatment of genetic diseases like type 1 diabetes."

Melissa E. Lucarelli, MD
Family physician
Randolph, Wisconsin