Having been in this field for most of my life, I can say that physicians, today, are experiencing cutbacks in payment for one, and nobody really knows what else the new health law has in store for doctors, healthcare facilities, and patients.
Pompano Beach, FL (PRWEB) March 30, 2011
It seems that today, a number of factors, including the Affordable Care Act, are leading to more and more physicians choosing to opt out of the health care field, all together.
This poses a huge problem for physicians, who have spent much of their lives preparing for, and practicing in, careers in the medical field. Health care facilities and patients, alike, will likely be affected, especially with the nation’s growing elderly population.
An online news article, published from by Article Dashboard, in March, reported that, while there is an estimated 650,000 Americans working in the physician services sector, up to 220,000 of those currently practicing, could be retired by 2020. This is nearly one-third of our current pool of practicing physicians in the United States.
“With the current threats posed by Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, this does not surprise me at all,” said James E. McLean, President of Hospital TeamCare West. “Having been in this field for most of my life, I can say that physicians, today, are experiencing cutbacks in payment for one, and nobody really knows what else the new health law has in store for doctors, healthcare facilities, and patients.”
Healthcare expert James Capretta, during a recent special, which aired on Newsmax.TV, said, “the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law a year ago, March 23, doesn’t live up to its name. Rationing occurs when the government pays a very low rate for a service so low that the suppliers of the service no longer are willing to supply it so they leave the marketplace,” said Capretta. “So, people then have fewer options to go see and get that service. That’s what’s happening under this law.
“They’re going to pay lower and lower rates for medical services,” he said. “That will drive suppliers out of the market. People needing medical care will then have fewer people to go to get the care they need. That’s rationing and that’s what going to happen under the law.”
This trend is not only being seen among current physicians, but it also is impacting throughout medical schools across the country.
Article Dashboard’s story added that the lack of primary care physicians, when looking ahead, is partly a result of the number of medical students choosing to study in specialized medicine, which provides higher salaries, and greater job securities.
Medical students might have the right idea, as many physicians are seeing, and experiencing, greater demands within their schedules. This negative, coupled with a decrease in pay, leaves little hope and minimal options, regarding physician employment opportunities.
Primary care physicians, including those working in family practice, pediatrics, and internal medicine, are highly utilized by patients today. A future with less primary care physicians will create a significant gap in the health care system.