How Doctors Feel About the Affordable Care Act in 2015

  • Slightly more providers supported or were neutral on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

  • Overall opinion of the ACA has worsened over time.

  • Most respondents did not see a change in their patient base.

  • A large proportion of respondents reported a decline in revenue per patient.

  • The majority of clinicians surveyed said they are spending more time on administrative tasks.

  • Slightly more than half reported the ACA has had a negative impact on workload.

  • Most respondents felt the ACA had either not influenced or negatively influenced decision-making ability, with only a small proportion reporting a positive influence.

  • Providers were evenly split on the ACA’s impact on patient care, with 38% reporting a negative influence, 32% reporting no influence and 30% reporting a positive influence.

  • About half of respondents felt the overall impact on the health of the healthcare system has been negative.

  • Similarly, slightly more than half of respondents reported the ACA has negatively impacted the financial health of their practice/group.

  • Although a large proportion of clinicians feel the ACA did not influence their relationship with patients, slightly more reported a negative influence versus a positive influence 34% vs. 21%.

  • Significantly more respondents felt the ACA has had a negative influence on the overall cost of the healthcare system – 58% versus the 23% who felt it had a positive influence.

  • Insurance companies lead the pack in terms of who clinicians felt the ACA has benefited most, followed by patients and politicians.

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Nearly 400 healthcare providers responded to the Affordable Care Act Survey between December 2014 and February 2015, answering questions about how their opinion on health reform has changed since it was signed into law in March 2010.

View the slideshow to learn more about how clinicians feel the ACA has influenced how they spend their time, revenue per patient and health care costs.

A note about respondent demographics: Medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine made up the largest proportion of survey respondents (76%), followed by nurse practitioners (17%) and physician assistants (5%). Slightly more respondents were male (58%) than female (42%).

The largest proportion of respondents had been in practice for 30 years or more (29%), followed by 21 to 29 years (25%), 11 to 20 years (23%), 5 to 10 years (13%), and fewer than 5 years (10%).

The majority worked in hospitals or was employed in a practice owned by a hospital or health system (41%), followed by those with an ownership stake in a private practice (32%), and those working in private practice (12%). Five percent or fewer worked on a locum tenens or contract basis, in a government setting, or were in training or “other.”

Not every participant answered every question. We have indicated the total number of respondents for each area addressed. Numbers may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

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