A new survey indicates that five years after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), almost half of primary-care physicians don’t know about the pay raises that the law gave them.
Yes, many physicians are very, very busy, but the ignorance of the law that affects them so much is, well, amazing.
That survey, conducted this year by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Commonwealth Fund, reported that 48 percent of primary-care physicians didn’t know enough about the ACA to understand how it was affecting their practices.
One ACA provision raised Medicare rates for office visits and preventive care by 10 percent from 2011 through the end of 2015. Yet 49 percent of physicians surveyed didn’t know this!
The law also increased Medicaid rates for office visits and vaccine administration to Medicare levels in 2013 and 2014 for primary-care physicians.
The survey found that 47 percent of primary care physicians didn’t know about the Medicaid payment bump. This is an important oversight: Of those who did know about the bonus, 22 percent said it moved them to see more Medicaid patients.
Clearly, the government and professional organizations need to do a lot more educating of physicians about the Affordable Care Act.