A comprehensive report from The Physicians Foundation offers private practice physicians a new tool for understanding how federal health system reform may impact their practice of medicine. The report examines the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how they will directly impact private practice physicians, both immediately and over the coming months.
The report, A Roadmap for Physicians to Health Care Reform [PDF], gives physicians an in-depth perspective on the societal and economic issues that influence current health reform efforts, as well as insight into Congress and the possibility that it may alter the reform legislation. It also focuses on the major legislative changes that are significant to the daily practice of medicine, such as changes in payment systems, quality reporting, shared savings programs, workforce and rural initiatives, and select aspects of the changes reshaping the private health insurance market.
Among the report's findings:
- Physicians will assume greater responsibility for the health of populations, not individuals.
- Significant numbers of physicians may feel compelled to relinquish private practice autonomy in favor of networks or group formations.
- Physicians will increasingly lose the "private" in private practice, and
- Physicians could become a link for risk-bearing arrangements, thereby assuming significant shared financial risks and quasi-insurance roles.
"Physicians bring an essential perspective on how the health care system can and should support optimal patient care. Therefore, it is vital that this community understand which aspects of health reform will be most meaningful over time due to their impact on the practice of medicine," said Louis J. Goodman, PhD, president of The Physicians Foundation and TMA's executive vice president/chief executive officer. "We believe that no matter what actions Congress takes to amend the ACA, the most direct provisions affecting physicians will endure in some form. The Physicians Foundation commissioned this roadmap in order to educate physicians on these core elements, as well as to promote broader understanding of how private practice physicians will be impacted."
The Physicians Foundation is a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance the work of practicing physicians and improve the quality of health care for all Americans.
Action, June 15, 2011