Survey Shows 75 Percent of Independent Physicians Unacquainted with Accountable Care

Results from Athena Health’s fourth annual Physician Sentiment Index™ (PSI) exposed a general sense of unfamiliarity with the accountable care model among physicians. Nearly 75 percent of physicians surveyed have either only “heard of” or are “somewhat familiar with” an accountable care organization (ACO), and 26 percent of physicians responded that they “don’t know” if they are participating in any pay-for-performance (PFP) programs.

The industry’s shift to accountable care models has physicians concerned. While many physicians believe that shifting reimbursement models away from fee-for-service will positively impact the quality of care, there are concerns that it won’t come easy or cheap. Findings show that the majority of physicians surveyed believe these models will positively impact quality of care, negatively impact profits and create more burden to get paid.

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fueling the rise of ACOs and other models that incent physicians and hospitals to reduce the cost of care, independent physicians remain skeptical of the benefits for them and their patients.

Independent doctors, who account for just over half of the physicians surveyed, are feeling the most pressure when it comes to industry change and requirements. Seventy-eight percent said they are not optimistic about independent/small groups surviving. Independent physicians are more skeptical of the positive impact that EHRs have on patient care, a PSI trend that has gained momentum since 2010.

More than 60 percent of providers believe the current healthcare climate is somewhat-to-very detrimental to care — a consistent trend over the past four years of the PSI survey. Nearly 60 percent of providers think the quality of medicine will decline over the next five years. Additionally, more than 50 percent of providers do not believe the government’s involvement in healthcare will lower costs or improve outcomes.

Source: Athena Health, August 12, 2013

Essential Guide to Accountable Care Organizations: Challenges, Risks and Opportunities of the ACO Model delivers a detailed analysis of CMS’s Medicare ACO Shared Savings Program as well the short- and long-term financial opportunities afforded by ACOs and an inside look at two existing ACOs and the lessons learned from their development and launch.

This entry was posted in Accountable Care Organizations, electronic health records (EHRs), Healthcare Quality and Access, Healthcare Reform, Physician Alignment, Physician Organizations and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
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