Here are five things to know about gastroenterologist pay in the future with the Affordable Care Act, accountable care organizations and Medicare coverage based on the Medscape Gastroenterologist Compensation Report 2016.
1. A little over half — 56 percent — of gastroenterologists report seeing an influx of new patients after the Affordable Care Act; the remaining 44 percent haven't seen a patient increase. Overall, 78 percent of physicians report the patient load increase said the quality stayed the same or improved while 82 percent who didn't see a patient increase reported the same.
2. Eleven percent of self-employed gastroenterologists said they plan to stop taking new Medicare or Medicaid patients; 6 percent of employed gastroenterologists said the same. The majority — 84 percent — of the employed gastroenterologists will continue taking current and new Medicare and Medicaid patients; 68 percent of self-employed gastroenterologists said the same.
3. Ten percent of gastroenterologists will drop insurers that pay poorly. Among the 46 percent who won't drop poorly paying insurers, 17 percent need all payers and 29 percent said they feel it's inappropriate to drop payers.
4. Thirty-four percent to gastroenterologists report participating in an ACO, and another 9 percent plan to participate this year. Four percent are in a cash-only practice and 3 percent are in a concierge practice.
5. With rising deductibles and price transparency on the rise, patients are more interested in the cost of care than they were in the past. Around 32 percent of gastroenterologists said they regularly discuss treatment costs with patients; another 33 percent said they occasionally discuss payment. Only 7 percent said they don't discuss cost because they don't know the cost, and 4 percent feel it's an inappropriate discussion.