US doctors divided over future of payers landscape, survey finds


The future of health insurance is one of the most debated topics in the country, and doctors – like most – are divided over the best option for moving forward. Although more than two-thirds of physicians said they prefer a two-tier insurance system, with a single payer option and private insurance, about 40% said a Medicare for All system is the best or next best. direction for the US health care system, according to a new survey.

In part three of its 2020 survey, the Physicians Foundation focused on the impact of COVID-19 and the future of healthcare. The survey, conducted between September 14 and 28, includes responses from 1,270 physicians nationwide.

In addition to physicians who prefer a two tier system or Medicare for All, 49% of physicians felt that maintaining or improving the current system influenced by the Affordable Care Act was the best or next best direction for the patient. landscape of U.S. payers, and 45% of physicians said a market-driven system, including health savings accounts and catastrophic plans, was the way to go.

But regardless of their divergent views, a large majority of physicians (89%) agreed that providing affordable health insurance is a key step in ensuring broad access to high-quality, cost-effective care.

Other measures that doctors deemed important or extremely important to improve access to health care and control costs included:

  • Simplify or streamline the pre-authorization process for medical services and prescriptions (89%)
  • Provide insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19 (83%)
  • Reimburse physicians for providing telemedicine services (82%)

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for affordable and easy-to-access mental health services increased rapidly as stress and anxiety levels skyrocketed. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that nearly 41% of American adults, surveyed in June, reported at least one mental or behavioral health problem.

According to the Physicians Foundation survey, around 86% of physicians rated simplifying access to mental health services as an important policy step that should be taken.

Doctors are increasingly focusing on paying for the social determinants of health, with 63% of respondents saying reimbursing doctors to tackle social factors, such as poverty and homelessness, is a key policy step. The greatest support for this reimbursement comes from female doctors (74%) and those under 45 (75%).

Another 70% said payers should include barriers to accessing healthy food and safe housing in risk scoring formulas that determine patient complexity.

Looking ahead, almost all physicians surveyed (94%) said chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, will place the highest demands on the healthcare system in 2021, followed by conditions that have worsened in due to processing delays caused by Covid-19. pandemic (86%).

Photo credit: mkurtbas, Getty Images


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