The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) on October 1 released a recent study1 that I discussed here on October 2. The research was billed as a Workforce Analysis and the resulting publicity in the mainstream press focused on doctor shortages and similar administrative conclusions.
But the MMS research branched in different directions that are far more telling concerning Massachusetts so-called healthcare reform. The more interesting although secondary research was a survey instrument mailed to over 8,000 practicing physicians.
The mailed survey responses said:
- 33% of self-employed doctors in Massachusetts favor single payer insurance over Obamacare or the current mishmash of private/public plans (which are really the same thing in Massachusetts because, from the doctor's point of view, Obamacare is Romneycare). I would have expected this of government doctors (52% favor single payer) or doctors working on salary (41% favor it) but the opinion of the doctor in business for himself or herself on this issue is shocking to me. Now if we could only figure out how to pay for single payer insurance--that is, who is the single payer.
- Massachusetts doctors as a whole are split almost 50%/50% on whether they would embrace capitated-payment plans over today's mostly fee for service (FFS) insurance plans. (OK now I am starting to understand the single payer opinion. Keep paying me by the drink especially if only one of you is carrying the tab.) Unlike feelings about single-payer, this result is highly influenced by government doctors in favor of capitation (they all effectively get paid that way now of course). 60% of doctors in business for themselves favor FFS.
- 60% of Massachusetts physicians are likely to participate in accountable care organizations. The research paper did not provide a split between government doctors, salaried doctors and self-employed doctors on this issue.
-- Dennis Byron
1 It does not seem to appear exactly yearly because I can find no reference on my web site from this time last year. Also -- truth in advertising and father's pride -- I have a daughter who is a member of the Mass. Medical Society House of Delagates.