News with clear eyes. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

Only 8% of U.S. doctors — and just 4% of U.S. primary care doctors — give the U.S. health care system an A.

About 45% of all doctors and 47% of primary care doctors give the health care system a grade of C, according to analysts at the Deloite Center for Health Care Solutions, Washington, an arm of Deloitte Development L.L.C.

The analysts commissioned a survey of 501 doctors who are in a database provided by the American Medical Association, Chicago.

The analysts organized the survey to look at what doctors are thinking about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).

About 44% of all doctors surveyed, 39% of the primary care doctors and 60% of the surgical specialists think PPACA is a good start; 44% of all the doctors, 45% of the primary care doctors and 28% of the surgical specialists think PPACA is heading in the wrong direction.

The doctors ranked consumer behavior as the most important factor driving up health care costs, defensive medicine as the second most important factor, insurance company administrative costs as the third most important factor, and hospital costs as the fourth most important factors.

Doctors were about as likely to blame hospitals and drug makers for driving up costs as they were to blame insurance companies, and almost as likely to blame the money spent on end-of-life care.

SBC RULES: EMPLOYERS CAN HANDLE THAT

Large employers seem to be dealing the coming need to comply with new federal PPACA Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) rules without noticeable panic.

HighRoads Inc., Woburn, Mass., a benefits compliance firm, says it surveyed large employers in November and found that 58% believe they are prepared to produce SBCs by the original March 2012 deadline, even though regulators have been slow to get the final SBC rules out.

The PPACA SBC rules require health insurers and health plans to provide standardized benefits descriptions.

“Based on these survey results, SBCs have not caused a great concern among organizations,” according to Kim Buckey, a plan document specialist at HighRoads. “This is partly a reflection of current communications practices — many employers are already providing a level of communication close to that required by the SBC regulations — and partly a reflection of HR departments embracing technology. By using automation to leverage existing data, they are better able to respond to required changes.”

Only 9% of the employers surveyed said they can imagine eliminating benefits due to the need to comply with SBC requirements.

DEALS

- Digital Insurance Inc., Atlanta, an acquisitive benefits firm, has acquired Kellogg Smith, Miami, another benefits firm.

Firm principals Katy Kellogg and Mike Smith will go to work for Digital, Digital says.

The price was not disclosed.

- USI Insurance Services, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., another frequent benefits firm buyer, says it is acquiring Bluff Head Enterprises Inc., Wakefield, R.I., an employee benefits consulting and brokerage firm specializing in middle-market businesses.

Samuel Slade, the president of Bluff Head, will be the president of the employee benefits division of USI of Rhode Island, USI says.

The price was not disclosed.