CompHealth Study Finds One-Third of Physicians Consider Quitting Profession After Passage of Affordable Care Act (ACA)

April 18th, 2016 3 Min read CompHealth Study Finds One-Third of Physicians Consider Quitting Profession After Passage of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Blog

SALT LAKE CITY — April 18, 2016 — According to a new national study from CompHealth, 36 percent of all physicians, and 45 percent of private practice physicians, are more inclined to leave the medical profession because of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The study also found that 51 percent of physicians surveyed view the ACA unfavorably and 30 percent view it favorably. Physicians in private practice settings are most pessimistic about the ACA, with 61 percent saying they view the law negatively.

"With the country facing an increasing shortage of physicians, it is crucial that we find ways to keep doctors in medicine," said Melissa Byington, president of CompHealth. "As advocates for physicians, we believe that temporary locum tenens assignments are a way for physicians to combat some of the frustrations they're feeling with the Affordable Care Act — less time with patients, reduced compensation, and more paperwork — so they can continue caring for patients." 

Additional findings from the study include:

The ACA has improved patient access. 47 percent of physicians surveyed indicate the ACA has improved access to healthcare and insurance in the country.

The ACA has a neutral impact on the quality of care. 44 percent of respondents think the ACA has had a neutral impact on the quality of healthcare their patients receive.

Physicians are not properly compensated by the ACA for their work. 76 percent of all physicians, and 86 percent of private practice physicians, believe they are not properly compensated for their time by ACA reimbursements. Also, 38 percent of all doctors think their salaries decreased after the passage of the ACA.

Time with patients is declining. 44 percent of physicians say they spend less time with their patients since the introduction of the ACA.

Administrative work has increased. Many who considered quitting the profession report they spend too much time entering data (68 percent) and doing paperwork (59 percent).

Despite some of the gains in access, these findings indicate a dissatisfaction among physicians, particularly in private practice, with work conditions created by the ACA. To cope with increasingly challenging circumstances, 40 percent of physicians say they have chosen to supplement their income through secondary jobs including locum tenens, moonlighting and consulting.

This study was conducted in December 2015 by global information services firm Hanover Research on behalf of CompHealth. The email survey polled a sample of approximately 1,000 United States physicians from private practice, hospital-based practice and other practice types representing various medical disciplines.

The full report can be viewed here. 

About CompHealth

Founded in 1979, CompHealth is a national leader in healthcare staffing, serving providers in more than 100 specialties. CompHealth is the largest locum tenens staffing agency in the U.S. and also specializes in permanent physician placement and both temporary and permanent allied healthcare staffing. CompHealth is part of the CHG Healthcare Services family of companies, which is ranked No. 18 on FORTUNE magazine's list of "100 Best Companies to Work For." For more information, visit