ACA’s Impact on Locum Tenens


After the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed back in 2010, around 17 million people have gained access to health insurance coverage. By no surprise, this large influx of patients has had an impact on the world of health care as a whole, though locum physician jobs have been met with their own changes since then.

For one, you’ve probably noticed that the amount of administrative paperwork necessary to complete has grown, despite the fact that much of it is electronic.

Along with the ICD-10 transition and nearly five times as many codes as ICD-9, there seems to be a constant stream of new things to learn and adapt to in the field. Because today’s medical practice can’t afford any less than highly trained and motivated staff, being up to date on all new administrative requirements has been a necessity.

Medicare Meaningful Use Requirements have also presented their own series of demands for medical facilities nationwide. With penalties for lack of participation starting in 2015, physicians and practitioners are under fire for keeping their paperwork as modernized as possible.

 

How do Physicians Feel About the ACA?

A recent survey conducted by CompHealth has revealed some pretty enlightening figures about just how the ACA has impacted their careers.

Of the nearly 1,000 physicians surveyed across the country, 86% of private practice physicians report that they are inadequately compensated since the ACA’s passing.

Only 20% of private practice physicians hold a favorable view of the law, compared to group practices at 26%, and 35% of hospital-employed physicians.

Physicians and practitioners have mixed opinions on the ACA.

Physicians and practitioners have mixed opinions on the ACA.

Although around half of the doctors surveyed think that the ACA helps patients to access a reliable healthcare network, it is still felt by many that it also impedes doctors’ abilities to help their patients. This is reflected in the more than 40% of participating doctors who feel that the ACA has negatively impacted the healthcare industry overall.

It turns out that a greater amount of insured consumers has actually caused doctors to limit the time they spend with each patient. The numbers are still divided in terms of time spend per patient, however the sentiment is clear for many professionals.

Interestingly enough, the ACA has actually caused more doctors and practitioners with permanent positions to supplement their income with locum tenens work. This fact is right in line with the increasing demand for physicians in areas where shortages had once been common.

Millions of people who have gone years without a PCP have since been able to access one, despite a drop in patient visits. Additionally, primary care physicians and specialists are seeing the biggest increase in demand. All of this makes locum tenens work not only a more viable career path for many people, but a healthcare industry necessity.

Future Locum Tenens Jobs

Originally, locum tenens jobs started gaining popularity in the 70’s when the government began allocating temporary doctors to underserved areas in the country. People used to think locum physician and practitioners were just people who couldn’t find “real jobs.” A lot has changed since then, and luckily the value of locum work is finally realized.

Traveling is one of the greatest perks of locum jobs.

Traveling is one of the greatest perks of locum jobs.

 

Whether it’s to supplement one’s income or transition to retirement following a long medical career, locum tenens jobs allow the freedom of travel and new experiences. The amount of positions has actually increased from 6.4% to 9% among the present jobs available to physicians and practitioners between the 2012 and 2014. Should the regulations and specifics of the ACA continue to solidify within the industry, it’s likely that we’ll continue to see an increase in jobs in years to come.

Author: Connor Smith

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