A Doctor Shortage? Let’s Take a Closer Look – The New York Times

November 7, 2016

The Affordable Care Act is expected to accelerate the need for additional medical care. Increased insurance coverage increases demand, and Obamacare alone is projected to require about 16,000 to 17,000 more physicians than would have been required without it.

Source: A Doctor Shortage? Let’s Take a Closer Look – The New York Times


A Personal Tale Of ObamaCare Woe: One Patient’s Story

November 7, 2016

ObamaCare’s political disciples are dismissive of the tails of woe that ObamaCare has left in its wake, pointing instead to statistics on the reduced rate of uninsured.

But the rising rate of insured Americans is a phenomenon mostly driven by the massive expansion of Medicaid. Only about half of the people covered by ObamaCare previously lacked health insurance. The rest are folks who had coverage at work or in the individual market, and were forcibly transitioned onto the exchanges.

By comparison, the travails of John, who manages a small retail business, is far more emblematic of the myriad ways that ObamaCare has wrought havoc on the lower middle class, working Americans that the law was ostensibly meant to help.

Source: A Personal Tale Of ObamaCare Woe: One Patient’s Story


Health Reform and the Changing Safety Net in the United States — NEJM

November 7, 2016

The authors describe the implications of the Affordable Care Act for safety-net health systems and how hospital-based safety-net care systems are responding to health care reform.

Source: Health Reform and the Changing Safety Net in the United States — NEJM


Workers Like Their Benefits, Are Confident of Future Availability, But Dissatisfied With the Health Care System and Pessimistic About Future Access and Affordability by Paul Fronstin, Ruth Helman :: SSRN

November 4, 2016

The EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey (WBS) examines a broad spectrum of health care issues, including workers’ satisfaction with health care today, their confidence in the health care system and the Medicare program, and their attitudes toward benefits in the workplace. It is co-sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates with support from eight private organizations. This paper identifies the key findings of the 2016 survey. The 2016 WBS finds that, when asked to rate the U.S. health care system overall, many workers describe it as poor (27 percent) or fair (33 percent); only a small minority rate it as excellent (3 percent) or very good (12 percent). Dissatisfaction with the health care system is focused primarily on cost. Workers tend to be more favorable about their own health plans than they are about the health care system overall. One-half of those with health insurance coverage are extremely or very satisfied with their coverage, while only 12 percent are not satisfied with their current health plan. One-half of all workers report having experienced a health care cost increase in the past year, down from 61 percent in 2013. Those experiencing an increase report they are changing the way they use the health care system, such as trying to take better care of themselves, choosing generic drugs, or delaying going to the doctor. Twenty-five percent of workers report that they are extremely confident their employers or unions will continue to offer health coverage in the future, 38 percent are very confident, and 28 percent are somewhat confident. While 48 percent of workers indicate they are extremely or very confident about their ability to get the treatments they need today, only 34 percent are confident about their ability to get needed treatments during the next 10 years, and just 29 percent are confident about this once they are eligible for Medicare. Thirty-two percent of workers say they are confident that they are able to afford health care without financial hardship today, but this percentage decreases to 25 percent both when they look out over the next 10 years and when they consider the Medicare years.

Source: Workers Like Their Benefits, Are Confident of Future Availability, But Dissatisfied With the Health Care System and Pessimistic About Future Access and Affordability by Paul Fronstin, Ruth Helman :: SSRN


Early ACA Medicaid Expansions: Impacts on Enrollment and Access by Monica Bhole, Vilsa Curto :: SSRN

November 4, 2016

We use four states that were early adopters of Medicaid expansion to study how this expansion affects enrollment and access to physicians for Medicaid enrollees. We use the universe of Medicaid enrollment and claims data to construct state-month-level measures of enrollment, enrollee composition, and access to physicians. Using a differences-in-differences framework, we find that Medicaid expansion leads to a 13 percent increase in overall enrollment, a 27 percent increase in enrollment among adults ages 23 to 65, and a 7 percent increase in the number of Medicaid patients seen by physicians. We find no statistically significant increase in the number of Medicaid patients seen among obstetricians/gynecologists and pediatricians, who are less likely to be affected by the expansion. We find that Medicaid expansion increases physician participation on the intensive margin but not on the extensive margin.

Source: Early ACA Medicaid Expansions: Impacts on Enrollment and Access by Monica Bhole, Vilsa Curto :: SSRN


The Impact of Obamacare, in Four Maps – The New York Times

November 1, 2016

Three years into the Affordable Care Act, there remain places where many people still lack health insurance. But their share keeps shrinking.

Source: The Impact of Obamacare, in Four Maps – The New York Times


Doctor Participation Drops As Obamacare Enrollment Begins

November 1, 2016

The number of doctors participating in health plans on public exchanges dipped 4% to 57% of physicians  in “health insurance plans offered in the federal or state exchanges under the ACA,” SERMO, a doctor social media network said. That compares to 61% who said they were going to participate a year ago before 2016 open enrollment, according to SERMO’s poll of 1,682 doctor exchange participants. The poll had an error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Source: Doctor Participation Drops As Obamacare Enrollment Begins