40 Percent Of Doctor Practices Unsure About Obamacare Exchanges
Two in five physician practices are unsure about whether they will participate on the government-sponsored marketplaces known as exchanges, according to new research from the Medical Group Management Association.
Less than a week after consumers began signing up for healthcare coverage on exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, the uncertainty of this key segment of physicians comes as health insurance companies attempt to offer a menu of choices for individual consumers during the six-month open enrollment period that runs through March 2014. To obtain benefits effective Jan. 1, 2014, individuals must select a plan by Dec. 15.
“It’s troublesome that there is so much uncertainty about ACA implementation this late in the game” said Dr. Susan Turney, president and chief executive officer of the Medical Group Management Association, which is meeting this week in San Diego for its annual conference.
Nearly 30 percent of doctors responding to the MGMA survey said they planned to participate in the exchanges. Another 14 percent said they would not participate and 16 percent said they did not know. MGMA research included responses from more than 1,000 medical groups in which more than 47,500 physicians participate.
Physicians said they saw opportunities to provide care to the uninsured and a medically underserved population, but more than 80 percent of doctors worried about what they will be paid from the plans participating on the exchanges.
“Some insurers want practices to sign contracts for less than their current commercial rates, but are unable or unwilling to provide detailed information to physicians about how the exchange products will be administered,” Turney said.