Most Say Doctors Aren’t Talking About Obamacare, Leaving Patients Without Critical Information

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July 3, 2013 ‐ By Kimberly Gedeon

Maybe it’s not just businesses that aren’t ready for the new Affordable Care Act.

In hospitals, the elephant in the room seems to be Obamacare, which will jump start in 2014. In a Health Pocket study, only half of clients had a conversation about Obamacare with their physicians. Doctors may not be too keen on discussing the new program because of its possible negative affects on their practice.

Out of patients whose doctor did comment on Obamacare, 38 percent had something negative to say while 33 percent said something positive, the Health Pocket study found. With the enrollment period for Obamacare only three months away, the doctor-patient conversation on health care reform is scarce.

A Gallup poll found that 43 percent of Americans without insurance have no idea about the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act. The court mandated that a fee will be imposed on those who fail to get insurance. Federal and state governments face hurdles in educating the public about Obamacare.

“[T]he administration faces considerable challenges leading up to open enrollment. Whether doctors can be leveraged to assist in the roll-out remains to be seen,” added Health Pocket.

However, there won’t be many doctors promoting the Affordable Care Act because “for Obamacare to succeed, American doctors need to earn less money,” Forbes said. A whopping 93 percent of physicians are weary of being paid too little for their services under Obamacare. “More than half of physicians expect their incomes to fall dramatically over the next three years,” said Daily Finance.

According to a 2013 physician survey, 57 percent of doctors believe that the practice of medicine is in danger; only 31 percent of physicians approve of the U.S. health care system.

Under Obamacare, doctors will be paid based on the quality of their work. Currently, physicians are paid per service, regardless of performance. About $1 billion in federal health care payments will rely on patient-satisfaction surveys, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Supporters say paying for performance removes a lot of bad incentives in the current system. It removes the motivation to do unnecessary tests and hospitalize people who don’t need it,” Wall Street Journal added.

The government is hoping that a larger percentage of the public gains more knowledge on the Affordable Care Act. By January 2014, uninsured Americans are expected to purchase health care plans on an exchange,“one of the state-based online marketplaces currently under development.” Every state is required to have one to allow all citizens to be covered by insurance.

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