The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in late June could have a profound impact on small physician practices – so profound that many could see themselves being force out of business.
Or so says James Dougleris, WHAT, in a July 9 article at PhysiciansPractice.com.
Dougleris said that he believes that because the ACA will “add as many as 40 million people onto the Medicaid rolls over the next few years… will deal most private practices a fatal blow if they are forced to accept Medicaid patients without increasing reimbursements to at least Medicare levels.”
Some practices, especially those of 10 physicians or fewer, may have to “refuse or severely limit Medicaid patients” in order to “survive,” Dougleris writes.
This may not be news at all to small practices. Dougleris cites a June 2012 study of practices that employed fewer than 10 doctors and found that 26 percent said they might not be in business in a year, while 75 percent said they have had to “severely cut costs are borrowing money, or are selling assets to stay in business.”
The transfer of up to 20 million people from employee-provided private insurance, mostly to Medicaid, and the addition of up to 20 million more Medicaid insured from the presently uninsured creates a perfect storm for private practices and an enormous challenge for the hospital systems and large clinics.
What does Dougleris recommend the owner of a small practice do?
[P}hysicians will be well advised to invest in professional assistance to increase the value of their practice and, if it becomes necessary, to have professional assistance in negotiating the sale.
What do you think? What’s going on in your practice and are you prepared if more Medicaid patients come to your practice?
If you’ve decide that a move to a new position is called for — whether that move is to a private practice, medical clinic, specialty or hospital – send your CV to Integrity Healthcare. We literally have dozens upon dozens of opportunities for experienced physicians and we’d love to discuss them with you. Contact us today!