News Briefs

Survey: Physicians are worried about the impact of health reform on ED volume

A new survey suggests that nearly three-quarters of physicians are very concerned that EDs will get overwhelmed if there are not enough primary care physicians to handle demand under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The survey, by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions in Washington, DC, queried a random sample of 501 physicians to gauge their views about health reform. The results are complied in a report: Physician Perspectives About Healthcare Reform and Future of the Medical Profession.

Responses to the survey suggest that physicians are largely skeptical about the PPACA's ability to reduce costs by increasing efficiency. Only 27% indicated that the law would have a positive effect on efficiency, and just 33% expect that the law will decrease disparities. Further, more than 80% of respondents said they believe that wait times for primary care visits will increase because of a lack of providers, and that this will increase pressure on EDs.

In general, older physicians are more pessimistic about the law than younger providers. In the survey, 59% of physicians aged 50 to 59 indicated that the law is a step in the wrong direction. Only 36% of physicians aged 25 to 39 shared these sentiments.

Further, surgical specialists were much more likely to support repeal of the PPACA (57%) than primary care providers (38%).

Other findings from the survey suggest that physicians expect payment reforms will reduce their incomes and increase their administrative costs. Further, while most physicians believe that evidence-based medicine improves care quality, they acknowledge that physician adherence may be difficult.


  • Physician Perspectives About Health Care Reform and the Future of the Medical Profession, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Washington, DC