The Massachusetts Medical Society is out with its annual survey of doctors. It’s full of information about the ongoing shortage of primary care docs and select specialists. No surprise. What is unexpected is the growing support among state docs for a single-payer system — 41 percent, up from 34 percent last year.
Opinions of U.S. Health Care System
For the second year, physicians were asked their opinions on the best option for the U.S. health care system. While support for a single-payer system saw a 7 percent jump from last
year, 59 percent of physicians prefer other options. The responses from the
2011 study: 23% (versus 32% in 2010) preferred both public and private plans with a
public buy-in option for businesses and individuals
- 15% (v. 17%) said keep the existing mix of public and private plans, but
allow insurers to sell plans with limited benefits and high deductibles to keep
- 17% (v.14%) preferred the current Affordable Care Act
- 41% (v. 34%) preferred a single-payer national health care system
- 4% (v. 3%) other
The survey also asks docs about their willingness to participate in accountable care organizations and the global payment system now on the table at the State House.
Views of Massachusetts Payment Reform Initiatives
For the first time in the workforce studies, physicians were asked about payment reform
initiatives being undertaken in the Commonwealth, specifically global payments
and accountable care organizations (ACOs). Responses to questions about both
showed many physicians to be hesitant to participate in either global payments
Findings on Global Payment Systems
- Familiarity with global payments is high, with 57 percent of physicians
saying they were familiar with global payments.
- Of all respondents, 42 percent said they were likely, and 58 percent said
they were not likely to participate in a voluntary global payment system.
- Of those respondents who said they were familiar, 45 percent said they are
likely to participate in a voluntary global payment system; 55 percent said they
were not likely.
- Primary care physicians (61.4%) are more likely to participate in a
voluntary global payment system than specialists (32.2%).
Findings on Accountable Care Organizations (ACO)
- Familiarity with ACOs is high, with 58 percent of physicians saying they
were familiar with ACOs.
- Of all respondents, 49 percent said they were likely, and 51 percent said
they were not likely to participate in a voluntary ACO
- Of those who said they were familiar, 59 percent said they were likely to
participate in a voluntary ACO, and 41 percent said they were not likely.
- Primary care physicians (71.9%) were more likely to participate voluntarily
in an ACO than specialists (50.2%).