Despite agreement across physicians, consumers and employers that fundamental changes are needed to make the U.S. health care system work better, a national survey showed disagreement between these groups about payment, responsibility and barriers of health care reform.
In a Leavitt Partners Health Intelligence Partners survey performed between May 25, 2017 and July 14, 2017, researchers of a white paper found 10% of physicians, 26% of employers and 17% of consumers believe the health care system works reasonably well and only minor changes are necessary. In comparison, results showed 90% of physicians and around 70% of employers and consumers believe either fundamental changes or a completely rebuilt health care system is needed.
Researchers also found all three groups placed most of the responsibility of problems in the health care system on insurance companies and the government vs. hospitals (3% to 6%), doctors (1% to 6%) and patients (3% to 4%).
When it came to costs, physicians and employers both believed health care costs could be contained through cost transparency tools and an increased emphasis on wellness and prevention, according to results. Similarly, 52% and 54% of physicians and employers, respectively, believed better management of heavy utilizers of care and behavioral and mental health may help curb costs. However, there was disagreement between physicians and employers on the efficacy of some measures to contain costs, researchers noted, with 46% of employers stating that bundled payments can lower spending vs. 21% of physicians. Researchers found 48% of employers vs. 22% of physicians believed accountable care organizations are a promising way to lower costs.
Researchers found little consensus between the groups about who should drive reform, as well as no agreement on barriers of reform. According to the survey, physicians cited regulatory burden as the major barrier to payment reform, while 26% of employers believed that regulatory burden is too high and 27% of employers believed a significant obstacle in payment reform includes providers’ unwillingness to participate. – by Casey Tingle