As the pool of insured people grows, more Americans will be looking for care, particularly from a primary care doctor. Both physicians and hospitals are likely to experience an increase in patient load.
Doctors may be getting more patients since the new law changes the eligibility requirements to get into the program.
In 2013, the law establishes a 2.3% sales tax on the sale of a medical device by a manufacturer or importer. Exempted from the tax are eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, and a number of other devices.
Doctors will experience a number of changes over the next four years in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates. In 2011, for example, primary care physicians and general surgeons received a 10% Medicare bonus payment. On the other hand, 2011 Medicare Advantage payment benchmarks were frozen at 2010 levels, and these benchmark reductions will continue in subsequent years.
In 2011, doctors were encouraged to work in underserved areas through expanded funding for scholarships and loan repayments for primary care practitioners. The law also provides increased Medicare reimbursement for primary care physicians and general surgeons, as well as increased training support for primary care physicians.
Doctors will have to adopt new methods of reporting, as the law establishes various new requirements, including quality measure reporting programs.