Constraints put in place under the Affordable Care Act are hitting doctors where it hurts—not only in their pockets, but also by creating red tape that stops them from finding time to become financially savvy, said Jim Holtzman, wealth advisor at Legend Financial Advisors in Pittsburgh.
“Where [doctors] were able to get away with some of their financial illiteracy in the past, if you will, it’s harder today because on a personal financial end, things are tighter,” said Holtzman.
While the ACA is still “generally new,” and the health care law’s impacts will be felt over multiple years, Holtzman said Legend Financial is already seeing the law’s impact on its clients who are doctors, who constitute 40% of the firm’s clientele.
“The quality metrics that are getting put into place” under the ACA are taking up more of doctors’ time than ever, he reported, meaning that physicians will eventually not enjoy the “revenue they once did; we’re already seeing that.”
Besides having to issue electronic medical records, health insurance plans are increasingly taking the high-deductible route, so doctors are seeing an increase in “collectibles, receivables and writing off of bad debts,” Holtzman said. “Time spent collecting payments from deductibles has really, really jumped up.”
Such time constraints put in place under ACA, he continued, will only create bigger problems for those doctors who are “already financially illiterate.”