A recent survey covering more than 1,000 physician practices confirms what many experts had feared—many doctors will not participate in Obamacare’s exchanges.
The survey was conducted by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), a trade group representing multi-physician medical practices. The results are in, and they’re unambiguous:
- A majority (55.5 percent) of practices believe the exchanges will have an unfavorable, or very unfavorable, impact on their practice.
- Fewer than three in 10 practices (29.2 percent) definitely plan to “participate with any new health insurance product(s) sold” on an exchange, with a majority (56.4 percent) still uncertain.
- Of those not participating in the exchanges, the top concern, listed by 64 percent of practices, was “concerns about the administrative and regulatory burdens related to these products.”
- More than two in three practices said that reimbursement rates for exchange plans are somewhat lower (36.2 percent) or much lower (33.2 percent) than “average payment rates from all commercial payers in your area”—and these lower reimbursement rates likely explain the lack of robust commitment by physician practices in participating in exchange plans.
The study’s results are even more surprising given the source of the study. MGMA represents many integrated physician practices, including famous practices like the Mayo Clinic. The Obama Administration has held out these types of integrated practices as the prototype for the accountable care organization (ACO) model created in Obamacare. Yet these practices, which the Administration views as part of the future of health care, along with many other doctors and hospitals, may decide not to participate in Obamacare exchange plans.
Giving millions of Americans an insurance card that does not provide access to care represents an empty promise, not health “reform.” It’s one more reason why Congress needs to stop this unworkable law and focus on better reforms that can actually help patients.