Will the Doctor’s Office Survive ObamaCare?

ObamaCare Word Picture

Doctors are worried about ObamaCare.  They don’t know how many more patients there will be once the law goes into effect.  They don’t know how much they will be paid and whether it will cover the additional costs.  This is not an easy or advisable business model.

“Imagine the government ordering millions of new customers to buy from your industry — and giving them money to make purchases.  Now imagine that the government won’t tell you how many new customers you’ll have, how you’ll get paid and that you might get paid less if you don’t change the way you do business.  Welcome to the world of America’s family doctors in the emerging age of Obamacare.

With the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act — the most sweeping changes in the nation’s health care system since the passage of Medicare in 1965 — taking effect in just under five months, family physicians are sweating out the slow rollout of the law’s regulations. Despite the guarantee of plenty of new patients, physicians hold mixed feelings about Obamacare.”

PA Morning Call, August 10, 2013

As we rapidly approach full implementation of ObamaCare, doctors continue to be both worried and hopeful.  Doctors have already spent large amounts of time and money working on medical centered homes, electronic medical records, quality documentation efforts, etc.  Will all this time and money pay off?  At this point we don’t know.

Many doctors’ offices believe that there is extra capacity in their practices to cover the additional patients.  Other doctors believe there is already an extreme shortage in primary care doctors.  Now may be a good time to look to add a doctor to your practice.  If another doctor is not an option, look into hiring an extender such as a nurse practitioner and/or a physician assistant.  It also might help to become affiliated with a network of doctors in your area.

Many doctors are hopeful that ObamaCare will be good for business – More insured patients and improved quality of care?  There are no guarantees.  Preparation and information will be the key to success.

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