More than half of the nation’s physicians express confusion on how the impact of health insurance exchanges’ new policies will affect their practices and have little faith that the y will launch on time, according to a new suvery by LocumTenens.
From June 4 through July 6, 2013, LocumTenens.com surveyed 479 independent physicians about their familiarity and opinions of the Affordable Care Act. Less than 11 percent of physicians believe the exchanges will ready by the target Oct. 1, 2013 deadline.
With such a major undertaking, physicians should be well educated on how these changes will impact their practices; however, 56 percent are not at all familiar with how the new policies would impact their businesses. Most have no idea what to expect from an administrative perspective when newly-insured patients start arriving for treatment in January 2014.
Other key findings include:
- 13.4 percent felt that their patient volume would increase by due to the new insurance access
- 70 percent were not at all familiar with how the claims process would work
- 67 percent were not at all familiar with patient coverage terms, such as grace periods, that might affect payment for services
- 55 percent of responding physicians expect their bad debt to increase under the Affordable Care Act
- 89 percent saying they did not think consumers had been adequately educated about how these new insurance policies will function
“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,” said Shane Jackson, president and chief operating officer of LocumTenens.com
A detailed summary of the survey findings can be found here.