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Health Care Law May Worsen Doctors’ “15 Minute Visit” Schedules


Health Care Law May Worsen Doctors' "15 Minute Visit" Schedules
Quantity over Quality Doesn't Work in Healthcare  

(Washington, D.C.) – According to a joint report by USA Today and Kaiser Health News, doctors' schedules have become so crowded that patients increasingly see them for just a few minutes. With physicians now expected to see a new patient every 15 minutes – or even more often – it's no longer possible for many doctors to give patients the time they deserve. The phenomenon is being termed the "15 minute visit" and is particularly felt by primary care physicians who are paid based on the number of patients seen.   

Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is expected to make things worse rather than better. As the law is fully implemented, the existing doctor shortage is expected to grow worse – partly due to low reimbursement rates under the new system. Doctors will continue having to see more patients in order to improve their bottom line and will be unable to provide the quality care that Americans deserve. Some physicians report that hospitals have instructed them to see a new patient every 11 minutes to meet the expected increase in demand. The USA Today/Kaiser report suggests that the amount of time available per patient has fallen as the health care system has adapted to increasing federal regulations and mandates.

Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:

"The American people deserve a health care system that puts patients in charge – not insurance companies and government bureaucrats. The sad fact is that as Washington's role has grown, patients have increasingly felt that the system does not respond to them and their needs. As the new health care law imposes new mandates intended to regulate doctors and hospitals and cut costs, people who need care are more and more taking a back seat. It's just one more example of what happens when government pushes rushed reforms upon individuals without considering the ramifications and properly discussing them in an open forum. 

It's high time that Americans get what they need from their healthcare system – instead of being saddled with a reform that sacrifices the doctor-patient relationship to protect insurers and achieve political goals. People deserve pro-patient reform that allows them to interact more with their doctors and get their money's worth instead of sacrificing quantity for quality. It is time to reform the reform – and not to rely on more federal rules and regulations."

For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Brian Faughnan, 703-678-4581 or Steven Cruz, 202-578-6173.