PHYSICIANS LOSING CONTROL OF
NEW SURVEY REPORTS MEDICAL
MALPRACTICE AS PRIMARY REASON
Alpharetta, GA (November 5, 2009) - A survey
released today from Jackson Healthcare reports that the majority of
physicians surveyed (74 percent) feel they have less control over
the way they practice medicine than they did five years ago.
According to the survey results, the cause is a combination of
the threat of medical malpractice litigation, as well as insurance
and government interference. However, 85 percent said the
threat of medical malpractice litigation is their primary hindrance
to practicing medicine as they see fit.
"We found that regardless of a physician's political
affiliation, the respondents attributed the practice of defensive
medicine to excessive waste in the healthcare system," reported
Rick Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare.
Jackson found that 62 percent of physicians disagreed with the
American Medical Association's (AMA) stance on healthcare
reform. Of those, 46 percent said they "strongly disagree"
with the AMA's stance.
When asked which piece of existing legislation they most
support, 44 percent selected HR 3400, 15 percent selected HR 3200,
7 percent selected the Senate Finance Committee bill and 19 percent
supported none of these plans.
Although no piece of existing legislation "very strongly"
represented physician views, a large majority of respondents agreed
that the number one element to be included in any piece of
healthcare legislation is tort reform, which was selected by 92
percent of the physicians Jackson interviewed.
Other key elements physicians want included in legislation:
- Private insurance industry reform, including the elimination of
pre-existing condition refusals, the elimination of dropped
coverage (except in instances of fraud) and portability (78
- Allow professional, trade and industry associations, including
Chambers of Commerce, to provide healthcare insurance to member
groups (67 percent)
- Allow individuals to opt-out of Medicare or their
employer-sponsored plan, and provide credits for them to purchase a
plan on the individual market (61 percent)
- Create an insurance exchange that provides competition on
health insurance plans (54 percent)
Of the 17 healthcare reform elements offered to respondents, a
public option ranked eleventh with 32 percent of physicians
selecting it. A single payor insurance system ranked
fourteenth, with 22 percent selecting it.
"What's interesting is that the majority of physicians surveyed
are in favor of healthcare reform," said Jackson. "We found
that many believe their voice is not being heard and the issues
most important to many physicians are not a high priority in the
current debate and reform efforts."
SURVEY METHODOLOGY-Between September 23 and
October 18, 2009, Jackson Healthcare conducted a web-based survey
of 1,978 physicians spanning all 50 states and all major medical
and surgical specialties. Jackson had a response rate of 1.71
percent from the 110,328 invitations distributed. The survey
has an error range of +/- 1.42 percent, at the 95 percent