We-Have-to-Pass-to-Find-Out-What’s-In-It Unintended Consequence of the Day

Get prepared for doctors to spend less time with patients. Well, at least for low-income patients:

[Under] the recently passed PPACA…nearly 16 million Americans are expected to be newly covered by public health insurance programs… States implementing SCHIP through an expansion of the income limits for their traditional Medicaid program represent the closest approximation of the public insurance expansion under the PPACA…

Physicians in these Medicaid expansion states decreased their time spent on patient care by approximately 3.48 hours — an 8.1 percent reduction…  If these physicians react similarly to pediatricians, and the PPACA Medicaid expansion is proportionately similar to the implementation of SCHIP, this reduction would amount to a decrease in hours spent on patient care of approximately 15,000 full time equivalent physicians… This is particularly concerning given that recent estimates suggest the passage of health care reform will increase the predicted shortage of primary care physicians by 50 percent over the pre-PPACA estimates.

Full working paper by Craig Garthwaite available here.

Comments (11)

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  1. Ken says:

    As has been pointed out before at this site, the rationing problem under “health reform” is going to get very very bad.

    Less time with you physician? You’ll be lucky if he sees you at all.

  2. Vicki says:

    This is the only blog I know about where anyone is discussing this problem. It’s almost like the other health blogs don’t even care about the doctor/patient relationship.

  3. Bruce says:

    I agree with Ken. The bigger problem is getting in the door in the first place.

  4. Joe S. says:

    Rationing by any other name is still rationing.

  5. Paul says:

    I think also a huge problem will be the quality of doctor you will see. The kind of doctors who are good and who really care about their patients will exit medicine. The ones left will be compliant automatons, content with following federal, “official” guidelines and meeting all the administrative requirements (e.g. EMR meaningful use).

    That’s the scenario I predict if Obamacare isn’t repealed. (I’m poised to exit, by the way.)

  6. Jeff says:

    It’s called assembly line medicine.

  7. Nancy says:

    I think we should get prepared to get most of our primary care from nurses.

  8. Ellen says:

    Think of it as waiting for Godot.

  9. Tom H. says:

    Even before the passage of the ACA, there was a predicted doctor shortage of some rather staggering dimensions. With expanded demand and no change in supply that problem will now be much worse.

  10. Erik says:

    It’s a shame that as part of the rhetoric about PPACA doctors are being characterized as greedy businessmen who will neglect their patients if their patient’s insurance reimbursements aren’t up to the doctors liking. Sad really.

  11. Carl J says:

    I am totally shocked that there is somehow surprise at any of this that was told to all and has now been shown true.
    And now Johnny, for the sixty-four Trillion dollar question…. what will you and I do about it.
    Just ruminating about the mess only allows it to become more of a mess. Now THIS is a change we all need to push for and make happen. Repeal everything this pseudo leader/administration has put in place and while HECK yeah it’s gonna be unpleasant but the tooth needs to be extracted. Just wailing about it isn’t going to fix it. Nothing, NO THING is TOO big to fail in this world.

    Anything that destroys rather than builds up is un-American. It CAN and MUST be avoided.

    I am a Veteran, medical, Church-going, Believing Christian, Conservative, Constitution Party, gun owning, self limiting, free thinking American. And I aint afraid to tell ye!
    Get out and vote a true LAW abiding Representative into public office and fill up the home front with true American’s who want to see this country succeed and not bow to the rest of the worlds faulty practices. Sure we have our share of troubles but we fix them and don’t rely on another country moderating our Constitution! It is great because God has made us strong and given us a will that others only wish they had. That is the secret and it is basic.

    Now move out and draw fire!