One of the biggest questions leading up to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act this year was how the act would affect doctors. With the final quarter of the year beginning, it is now a bit easier to take a look back and see the kind of impact that the Affordable Care Act has had on health care professionals since it kicked into action in January.
Here are some of the biggest ways that the Affordable Care Act has affected doctors, both positively and negatively:
- The Affordable Care Act removed a lot of major obstacles for patients getting insurance coverage, and forced payers to cover extra services at hospitals.
- More patients have health care coverage than in previous years, which means more patients for doctors. This is especially important for doctors at smaller, family practices.
- There are higher out-of-pocket charges in the Affordable Care Act, which can be a problem for specialists whose services are often significantly more expensive.
- Many elements of the Affordable Care Act are beneficial toward primary care physicians. Not the least of these benefits are the enhanced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, a variety of new care models and the covering of preventive and wellness services as “essential health benefits.”
- Primary care physicians receive a 10 percent bonus from Medicare through 2015.
- More hospitals are buying up smaller physician-owned practices, a trend that was already prominent but has accelerated under the Affordable Care Act. Some critics say that this is bad for both doctors and hospitals alike, as doctors will do less work as employees of larger hospitals and hospitals will lower levels of pay to match the reduced productivity levels.
As more provisions of the Affordable Care Act continue to take hold, the way the law affects doctors will continue to evolve. Speak with a New Jersey health care attorney with Buttaci Leardi & Werner for more information on the impact the law is having on physicians.
Posted in: Regulation