Patients across New Jersey can anticipate a conspicuous downturn in the overall quality of medical care, if the majority of the state's physicians are correct.
In an online poll conducted by Success Communications Group and National Research Inc. between March 31 and April 12, 2010, 87.8 percent of 223 doctors surveyed said they expect the current shortage of physicians in the state to become even more severe as a result of the national legislation signed into law on March 23. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 6.56 percent.
In addition, 78 percent of the doctors surveyed indicated an overall belief that health care in the United States is on the wrong track, with 74.9 percent disapproving of the recent health care reform package.
"Physicians in New Jersey are very dissatisfied with much of what's been happening in health care — our poll makes that extremely clear," says Michael Cherenson, executive vice president of Success Communications Group, a leader in health care communication services and the manager of 20 New Jersey-based medical societies and associations. "They're unhappy with the direction reform has taken and, as a result, they're pessimistic about the future of medicine in this state."
When asked, only 15.5 percent of the doctors expressed a belief that reform will actually improve patient care, with 54.3 percent saying the reform efforts will actually decrease the quality of patient care.
"The value of this type of poll is that it's extremely targeted — we went exclusively to individuals who are immersed in health care on a daily, ongoing basis," says Adam Geller, CEO of National Research Inc. "And what we learned is that, undeniably, these physicians are gravely concerned about the future of New Jersey health care."
A paltry 19.7 percent of doctors polled believe the reforms will increase patients' access to quality care. The majority, 58.3 percent, say patients' access to quality care will be limited.
In addition, based on what they currently know about health care reforms, 56.3 percent of respondents projected their practices will need to reduce new medical technology investments, while 50.2 percent speculated they may need to reduce office staff. And, 37.5 percent said it may be necessary to close some of their practice's locations.
Additional key findings of this Success Communications Group / National Research Inc. poll:
- 80.5 percent of the physicians are less optimistic about their career, now that the law has been enacted
- 58.1 percent of the doctors surveyed believe the federal government should assist Americans who cannot afford health care coverage in paying for it
- 77.5 percent of the physicians indicated a belief that the new health care law will be effective related to insurance reforms.
— ANDY LAGOMARSINO, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM