Skip to comments.The Future of Medical Specialists under the Affordable Care Act: Where the remaining ones will go
Posted on 12/11/2013 7:37:43 AM PST by SeekAndFind
ObamaCare has as its modus operandi a focus on medical management by already beleaguered primary care physicians and para-health professionals, at the expense of medical and surgical specialists. The law's administrators hope to control costs by cutting already bare-bones specialty physician payments, limiting medical technology and access to imaging, and instituting de facto health care rationing.
Medicine has been increasingly high-tech and more specialist-oriented, resulting in better, albeit more expensive, care. To cut expenses, ObamaCare is naïvely turning to an outmoded model of health care delivery -- one that has been shown to have comparatively poor patient outcomes.
Primary care physicians were forced during the recent dramatic growth of HMOs to practice less general medicine and essentially become gatekeepers for patient access to specialty care physicians. Because of this, and the increasing threat of lawsuits for missed diagnoses and rising patient expectations regarding disease outcomes, specialty referrals have risen dramatically.
Specialty care gives better outcomes for multiple disease processes, but it has contributed to the expansion of the use of technology in diagnosis and treatment. This is part of the reason for cost increases far outpacing inflation, and leads us to understand why there is increasing cost in modern medical care.
Turning into gatekeepers at the expense of actually practicing medicine has decreased the overall diagnostic and treatment skills of primary care doctors. Plus there is just too much to know regarding every medical issue in every specialty to avoid delaying care for potentially litigious patients. Add to this the 30 million extra uninsured, the dramatic growth in the elderly population, and the projected 65,000-doctor shortage a decade from now, and the responsibility foisted upon the primary care doctors is overwhelming.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...