Specialists Will Benefit From State Health Insurance Exchanges, Study Says

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The creation of state health insurance exchanges under new rules released this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will likely prove a boon to radiologists. In a new report, industry research firm IBISWorld forecasts the top 10 sectors that will benefit from the creation of such exchanges—with specialist physicians ranking in the number-one position on the list by virtue of the percentage of revenue they collect from private insurance (55.5%). Also in the top 10 ranking are, among other sectors, primary care physicians, with 55% of revenues collected from private insurance; diagnostic and medical laboratories (43.5%), and hospitals (34.5%). Primary care physicians occupy the number-two spot on the IBISWorld roster; diagnostic and medical laboratories, diagnostic and medical laboratories, the number-five spot; and hospitals, the number-nine spot. According to the report, the past five years have wrought increasing reliance by players in the top 10 sectors on payment from private insurance. Given this trend, IBISWorld predicts especially strong revenue growth and operating profit for specialist doctors, primary care doctors, podiatrists, diagnostic and medical laboratories, and emergency and other outpatient care centers. Average growth in these areas is projected at 5.7%, up from 4.5% in the previous five-year period. “Revenue is forecast to improve in these industries with the implementation of the exchanges,” states IBISWorld Health Care Analyst Sophie Snyder. “Moreover, operating profit margins are projected to rise since commercial insurance payments make up a larger source of operating profit than government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.”