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Physicians’ survey captures new insights on Affordable Care Act – Summer 2014
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By Rich Britton, Director of Communications, MDLinx

Recently, MDLinx created a new survey for physicians through its global research arm. The survey was conducted with 602 physicians regarding their thoughts on the effectiveness of Affordable Care Act (ACA) advertising and the impact and ramifications of Obamacare. White House administration officials confirmed to The New York Times that $52 million was spent on paid media over just the first three months of this year, in support of ACA enrollment.

The study showed that nearly 90 percent of physicians surveyed saw one or more ACA advertisements and more than 80 percent viewed them on television. Nearly 60 percent felt the ads were at least somewhat effective. Most physicians surveyed felt the campaign target audience was mostly the young and uninsured.

One significant finding was the physicians’ perception of how the ACA will affect their practices long term. More than 70 percent felt that a major impact of the ACA will be lower physician interest in private practice ownership in the next three years, resulting in more physicians choosing to become employed in another group practice or hospital.

“From our conversations with recruiters and physicians about the ACA, we expect a significant increase in the number of physicians looking for new positions over the next few years,” says Mathew Baker, Vice President, Physician Recruitment Advertising, MDLinx Career Center. “The perception is that physicians will have an increased patient load, less time per patient and, will receive lower reimbursements for the services they provide. For this and other reasons, we expect physicians to transition from private practice ownership to employed positions, explaining the increased number of physicians looking for jobs.”

At the annual Southwestern Physician Recruiters Association (SWPRA) conference held earlier this year in Sacramento, California, Lori Vickers, a physician recruiter for Memorial Care Medical Group commented, “Recently I’ve been getting several calls a week from physicians who are proactively exploring the option of giving up their practices to become employees. Some have shared that they have questions about the ramifications of the ACA and its possible effect on the business end of their practice.”

Additional survey highlights include:

  • Most physicians (84 percent) believe the ACA will have an impact on their practice in the next six months, with over half expecting lower reimbursements and over a third expecting to see more patients, with less time spent per patient.
  • Physicians responded that their patients had an overall negative sentiment regarding changes in health care, with 56 percent of doctors surveyed indicating their patients communicated that the ACA would negatively impact health care. Only 10 percent of doctors said their patients thought changes would be mostly positive.
  • Two thirds of physicians shared that conversations with practice colleagues and staff indicated that changes in health care associated with the ACA would have mostly negative impacts on the practice, with just 7 percent sharing positive conversations.

MDLinx is a leading provider of online marketing solutions to the health care industry and offers the largest physician website with a career center, reaching nearly 600,000 physicians in the U.S. alone.

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