A survey done by The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) reported that over half of their 33,000 medical group administrators and executives saw no change in patient volume due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They did, however, notice that a majority of patients they had previously treated purchased healthcare in the new marketplace. Lora Hines of the Houston Chronicle stated "more than 700 medical groups with more than 40,000 physicians practicing nationwide, participated in the survey." 56% of those physicians noted no change to their volume while 25% figured there would be a slight decrease in volume by the end of 2014 and nearly 45% predicted a slight increase.
A question many physicians had during initial enrollment was "how is the ACA going to directly impact my practice?" Well this survey found that 34,000 of the 40,000 physicians surveyed were accepting at least five marketplace plans with many of them choosing to do this to remain competitive locally according to Hines.
With 8 million new Americans entering the healthcare marketplace just recently, time will tell what the true impact of the ACA will be. There will be critics as well as supporters who claim they have the answer. The truth is, that it's far too early in the implementation to really know how the ACA will impact medical groups. Look for additional surveys similar as the one from the MGMA to help illustrate changes within the marketplace.By: Tommy King Chief Executive Officer MedicalGroups.com