Read the comments in our open thread from earlier today on what the next four years have in store -- regardless of who wins the presidency -- and you'll see a lot of pessimism, particularly over the prospect of Washington being able to save an economy weighed down by the cascading entitlement burden.
I haven't quite succumbed to that level of despair about the economy as a whole yet, but I'm certainly there when it comes to health care. And a new report by the Physicians Foundation (made helpfully digestible by our own Ben Domenech's invaluable daily news briefing The Transom) provides no comfort. To wit:
- 52% of physicians have already limited the access of Medicare patients to their practices or are planning to do so.
- 26% have already closed their practices to Medicaid patients.
- More than 50% of physicians will cut back on patients seen, will switch to part-time, switch to concierge medicine, or retire within the next four years.
- 62% believe Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are either unlikely to increase healthcare quality and decrease costs.
- 59% say PPACA has made them less positive about the future of healthcare in America.
- 57.9% would not recommend medicine as a career to their children or other young people.
- Over one third of physicians would not choose medicine if they had their careers to do over.
- 77% percent are somewhat pessimistic or very pessimistic about the future of the medical profession.
What say the good doctors of Ricochet? Does this track with what you're seeing? Is it reflective of how you personally think about the industry? And what advice would you give to the promising undergraduate who comes to you seeking advice about whether to attend med school?