The survey was conducted in September with responses from more than 1,000 medical groups in which some 47,000 doctors practice.
When asked if they would participate in plans sold on the exchanges, 40.2% said they were still evaluating whether to participate; 29.2% said they will participate, 16.2% said they didn't know; and 14.4% said they would not participate.
Anders Gilberg, MGMA senior vice president of government affairs, called those findings “a bit of a surprise.” He described the survey results as a parallel reaction to the decision by some national insurers to participate only in selected markets. “We're definitely seeing a good dose of caution on both sides of the equation,” Gilberg said. “There's not a floodgate opening.”
When practices were asked what business changes they will make as a result of the exchanges opening, 52.8% said they weren't planning to make any changes. But 37.8% said they would train staff to answer patients' questions on exchange coverage; 13.4% said they'd train staff to help patients apply for coverage; and 13.3% said they would reach out to patients to educate them. Few investments were planned, with only 5.8% saying they would hire more administrative staff; 4.5% said they would hire more doctors; and 4.1% said they would hire more clinical support staff. Only 4.6% said they would invest in new health information technology.
“They're going to see how this evolves,” Gilberg said.