Hospitals, docs unsatisfied with Affordable Care Act

As a Supreme Court decision on healthcare draws ever closer, a study shows 68 percent of physicians gave the Affordable Care Act a C, D or F grade, according to a survey from staffing company Jackson Healthcare. The results show that a doctors believe that the ACA will neither decrease the cost of healthcare, nor improve quality. Many hope that the health reform is overturned any day now, although a complete repeal is unlikely.  

Regardless of the outcome of the decision, hospital administrators fear that a bulk of the health law's damage has already been done, The New York Times reported. Healthcare facilities already have made significant cuts to spending and had to scramble to account for reimbursement issues for uninsured patients, particularly facilities that treat mostly poor patients. Hospitals have had to find new ways to treat more patients at a lower cost, a change that administrators fear is irreversible even if the ACA is repealed.

In addition to cutting costs, hospitals such as Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn have had to make cuts in care, such as reducing ER use by 30 percent. Such drastic cuts in care leave administrators concerned that the quality of healthcare will spiral downwards.

These factors may partially account for the poor satisfaction rate among doctors regarding ACA. According to the survey, 70 percent said ACA would not stem rising healthcare costs. Not only has the reform law had a significant financial and healthcare quality impact, but hospitals are at odds with how to cope with a continually changing system.

"If the Supreme Court overturns this law--I pray it won't--the world will go on changing," Maimonides Medical Center Chief Executive Pamela S. Brier said in the NYT article. "In some ways, we've changed ahead of it … trying to manage all these different aspects of the healthcare system as they are changing does make you crazy," she added. 

To learn more:
- read the NYT article
- see the Jackson Healthcare survey