Providers Say Reform Repeal Will Compromise Patient Care

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imageHealthcare reform is perceived as having a negative impact on patient care, reveals the 2011 Healthcare Reform Study conducted by Beacon Partners at last month’s Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual meeting.

More than 300 healthcare professionals participated in the independent healthcare management company’s electronic survey; with two-thirds representing top-level executives, such as chief executive officers, chief operational officers, vice presidents, and chief financial officers. Of all participants, 51% said they believe Congress or the federal court will succeed in repealing at least part of the healthcare reform legislation;31% , that Congress or the federal court will not repeal portions of the legislation. Sixteen percent are uncertain of how the situation will unfold.

Moreover, 30 % percent of respondents anticipate that a partial repeal will have a somewhat negative effect on overall patient care; 17%, that it will have an entirely negative effect. An additional 17% of individuals polled contend that such a repeal will have an entirely positive impact on patient care; 16%, a somewhat positive impact; 10%, no impact. Nine percent of respondents were not certain about how overall patient care might fare in the face of a partial repeal.

When asked about meaningful use issues, 70% of clinicians surveyed characterized themselves and their organizations as somewhat inclined to make changes to achieve Meaningful Use; 19%, as very willing to do so; 7%, as unwilling to do so; and 5%, as uncertain of their inclination at this juncture. Participants’ top concerns about the financial investments needed to attain Meaningful Use encompassed the sustainability of those investments (30%), capital cost (20%), staffing (18%), operating cost (11%), vendor commitment (11%), and time (10%).

“The negative feelings from the results of this study support all that we are seeing and hearing from healthcare organizations across the country,” concludes Ralph P. Fargnoli, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Beacon Partners.