Docs almost evenly divided on Affordable Care Act

Although anecdotes about doctors hating the Affordable Care Act are plentiful, such stories aren't an accurate representation of the whole, noted a recent blog entry from the Washington Post. According to a new poll from Kaiser Family Foundation, 52 percent of primary care doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants reported that they dislike the law, compared to 48 percent who said the opposite ("no opinion" was not an option).

Not surprisingly, clinicians' fondness for the law falls on a similar spectrum to their political leanings. According to the poll, 87 percent of Democratic primary care physicians favor the law, while 87 percent of their Republican counterparts do not. Fifty-eight percent of politically independent doctors said they disliked the law.

More noteworthy, perhaps, are some of the more granular findings from the poll:

  • Fifty-nine percent of primary care physicians are seeing more patients who are newly insured through a private plan or Medicaid since January 2014. Of these physicians, 78 percent said that their ability to provide high-quality care to all patients has either remained the same or improved.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 providers said Medicaid expansion under the ACA has had a positive impact on providers' ability to provide quality care to their patients, while 2 in 10 said it had a negative impact and the rest said it made no difference or they weren't sure.
  • About half of providers said the ACA has had a positive impact on access to healthcare and insurance in the country overall. However, the percentage of primary care physicians accepting new patients slipped from 89 percent in early 2012 to 83 percent in 2015, noted an article from Medscape. The acceptance rate of new Medicaid patients also fell from 52 percent to 50 percent during this period.
  • About half of providers said they do not have enough information about the law to understand how it is affecting their medical practice.

To learn more:
- read the post from the Washington Post
- see the article from Medscape
- here's the report from the Kaiser Family Foundation