The Affordable Care Act was designed and written chiefly by lawyers – Congress is full of them and if you throw a rock in Washington, you’ll hit one – so it is not so very surprising that among its effects is a trend among doctors to work fast and bill by the hour. As Roni Caryn Rabin of the Kaiser Institute writes in USA Today:
These days … patients — and physicians — say they feel the time crunch as never before as doctors rush through appointments as if on roller skates to see more patients and perform more procedures to make up for flat or declining reimbursements.
As one expert quoted by Rabin says:
"Doctors have one eye on the patient, and one eye on the clock.”
By all accounts, short visits take a toll on the doctor-patient relationship, which is considered a key ingredient of good care, and may represent a missed opportunity for getting patients more actively involved in their own health. There is less of a dialogue between patient and doctor, studies show, increasing the odds patients will leave the office frustrated.
Frustrated? Well, get over it, says the president. This thing is settled business and it is time to move on.