JOURNAL ARTICLE

Plastic surgeons' perceptions of the affordable care act: results of a national survey

Jacqueline S Israel, Jenny T Chen, Venkat K Rao, Samuel O Poore
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Global Open 2015, 3 (1): e293
25674374

BACKGROUND: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aims to expand coverage to the uninsured, improve quality, and contain costs. The goal of this study was to ascertain how plastic surgeons perceive the ACA.

METHODS: An electronic questionnaire was e-mailed to members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons between May and June 2014. The survey was anonymous and voluntary and included questions to assess understanding and opinions of the ACA.

RESULTS: The survey was sent to 3070 members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the response rate was 17%. Sixty-eight percent agree or strongly agree that they understand the basic concepts of the ACA. The majority of respondents disagree (38% strongly disagree, 31% disagree) with the notion that the ACA will positively affect their practice, and 51% agree with the statement, "I do not support the ACA, and I believe it did too much." Two thirds (66%) believe that the ACA deserves a grade of D or F. When answers were analyzed across demographics, 42% of respondents with "Academic" practice background identify with the statement, "I support the ACA but I think it needs more work," compared to 15% of those who selected "Solo Practice" (p <0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The ACA will affect all specialties, including plastic surgery. The results of this survey suggest that many plastic surgeons believe that they have a baseline understanding of current health-care reform. The majority of surveyed surgeons do not support the Act. It is imperative that plastic surgeons possess the knowledge of the ACA; its changes, both current and impending, will likely affect patient mix, coverage of procedures, and reimbursement.

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