Thursday, May 15, 2014

Doctors Not Accepting ObamaCare Plan Patients: The Indignity of  It  All

Tugging all day at perverse life
The indignity of it!

Theodore Roethe (1908-1965),  The Weed Puller

The indignity of it all!  

You went to  the toil and trouble of navigating to enroll in a health exchange plan.   Your insurer told you your doctor was in the plan.  You show up at the doctor’s office.   You are told he does not accept members of ObamaCare health exchange plans.  You search for other doctors in your area who do, and you find none of them do.  

You are indignant.  Your new plan was supposed to be better and cheaper, and you supposedly could keep your doctor, or at least find a doctor who would see you.

How could this be?  You read the papers and watch TV, and your government is telling you the first sign up period was a rousing success.  Eight million people signed up, exceeding expectations.  Surely there must be some mistake.

There is no mistake, only miscues.  And there is no surprise among followers of the travails of ObamaCare  implementation, which I detail in my book  Understanding ObamaCare; The Travails of Implementation: Notes of a Health Reform Watcher.

·         In a 2013 survey of  1000 of its members the Medical Group Management Association,  the nation’s largest such association,  only 29.2% said they planned to participate in the exchanges, citing low reimbursements and administrative and bureaucratic burdens as the reasons why.

·         In America,  more than half of physician practices are pruning their health plan lists of plans that negatively impact their practices economically or  bureaucratically, and government sponsored plans rank high in both  respects.

·         American physicians reserve the right to accept  patients or health plans they view favorably,  and they are purposefully choosing to leave networks.

·         There is not national registry of plans that will accept or reject patients who are members of state or national health exchanges.

·         The “back end” of , which contains the vital details doctors offices and patients and health plans need to know to function smoothly is still “under construction.”  In the mad-rush to sign up at the last minute, confusion reigned and details were lost.

·         Narrower networks, from  which doctors leave or are pushed out, as part of the economic tradeoff to keep premiums low, your doctor may be lost.

Tweet:   With the new ObamaCare insurance plans,  patients are losing their doctors as part of the economic tradeoff to keep premiums low.

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