A recent survey of leaders in health care and health care policy found that 9 of 10 Health Care Leaders agree that the general direction set by the Affordable Care Act is appropriate, and 7 out of 10 favor implementation of the health reform law with little or no change. The leaders also rated separately the different provisions of the health care reform law.
The survey was conducted by Harris International for the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit foundation founded in 1918 which supports independent research and makes grants for the purpose of improving health care practice and policy.
Conducted online between January 3, 2011 and February 1, 2011, the survey polled 1,311 opinion leaders in health policy and innovators in health care delivery and finance. The final sample included 203 leaders, a response rate of 15.5 percent. Respondents included leaders in four sectors: academic/research institutions (54%); health care delivery (23%); business/insurance/other health care industry (22%); and government/labor/consumer advocacy (10%).
The Data Brief on the survey, entitled, “Health Care Opinion Leaders’ Views on Congressional Priorities,” issued by the Commonwealth Fund in February, 2011, reports the following findings, among the survey results:
- “Support for the Affordable Care Act was relatively consistent across the different sectors sampled, however, leaders in health care delivery and industry were less likely than those in academic and research institutions to believe the law should be carried out as enacted and more likely to feel minor changes are needed.”
- Only 9 percent of those surveyed believe the new health reform law sets the wrong course for the nation; none of the respondents believe the health system is fine the way it is and does not require major reform.
- When asked about each of the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act separately, the following percentages of respondents felt it was important or very important to move forward with each one:
- Premium subsidies (87%),
- State-based health insurance exchanges (86%),
- Individual insurance mandate for all individuals to have insurance coverage (84%),
- Medicaid expansion to cover individuals with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (82%),
- Creation of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (83%),
- Creation of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (79%),
- Creation and implementation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (71%).
- When asked to rate the effectiveness of several different payment and delivery reform provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act, along with some advanced by its opponents, the following percentages of respondents rated the provision effective or very effective in achieving a high performance health system:
- 91% — believe payment options that improve care coordination for patients with chronic disease will be effective or very effective,
- 72% — believe making permanent increases in Medicare and Medicaid payments to primary care physicians will be effective or very effective,
- 69% — believe establishing greater alignment of payment methods and rates across public and private payers will be effective or very effective,
- 68% — believe value-based insurance design, in which patients’ copayments are structured to reflect the effectiveness of the treatment they are receiving, will be effective or very effective,
- 66% — believe accelerating the implementation of bundled payment methods will be effective or very effective,
- 59% — believe reference pricing, in which patients pay a price differential if a lower-priced but equally effective drug or service is available, would be effective or very effective,
- But only 38% — believe allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines will be effective or very effective, and
- Only 22% — believe that expanding the use of health savings accounts will be effective or very effective.
- “Eighty-one percent of leaders support expanding successful cost containment pilots contained in the Affordable Care Act as part of a federal budget deficit reduction strategy.”
For more information about the survey and related information, visit The Commonwealth Fund.
See also a report by UPI, Health Care Experts Favor Reform.
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