Physicians warming to Affordable Care Act

After much initial backlash to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), physicians are beginning to rate the law and some of its components more favorably, according to a new survey from the Medicus Firm physician search consultancy.

Most significantly, the number of physicians giving the ACA a failing grade (F) overall fell from 30.2 percent in 2013 to 22.35 percent this year. The number of physicians giving the ACA a perfect A remained low at 8.6 percent, slightly up from 6.3 percent in 2013.

The improvements might be due in part to the fact that the law is now more established, presenting fewer unknowns for physicians than it did a year ago, according to researchers.

"As of last year's survey, the ACA had not yet been fully implemented, although many aspects of the legislation were already in motion," said Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm, in an announcement. "This year's survey was conducted after the ACA was in full effect for several months, and four years after its passage into law. Unfortunately, the grades on the whole are not very positive, so it's good that there is some improvement in physicians' perceptions of the effectiveness of the ACA."

Far more physicians (23 percent) gave the ACA an "A" in "improving access to healthcare" this year, compared to just 11.8 percent last year. Further, the number of doctors who failed the ACA in this objective dropped from 23.6 percent in 2013 to 13.68 percent this year.

Grades for "improving efficiency of healthcare" were not as strong, with only 7 percent of physicians giving the ACA an "A" in that category this year, a slight improvement from 5.6 percent last year. The proportion of physicians who gave the law an "F" in this category also dropped from 35.4 percent to 29.73 percent this year.

To learn more:
- read the announcement