(Study Finds) Are health insurance policies creating nightmares for physicians and hazards for their patients? A new study finds that nearly nine in ten doctors believe barriers set by insurance plans have led to worsened conditions for patients in need of care.
Researchers with Aimed Alliance, a non-profit that seeks to protect and enhance the rights of health care consumers and providers, say that doctors are so fed up with the constant headaches caused by insurers, two-thirds would recommend against pursuing a career in medicine, and nearly half (48%) are considering a career change altogether.
For the study, the organization polled 600 physicians in the U.S. practicing either family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics/gynecology. The group sought to understand the extent to which insurance policies impact primary care physicians, their practices, and their patients on a day-to-day basis. They also wanted to get a better understanding of mental health issues among providers, as well as the causes behind the national provider shortage.
Researchers found that physicians don’t think very highly of health insurance companies, and believe they’re putting patients at risk with policies such as prior authorizations ahead of filling prescriptions. In fact, 87% of doctors say patients’ conditions have grown worse because of such red-tape regulations, and 83% worry the patients will suffer prolonged pain as a result.