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Survey: Some healthcare professionals optimistic that Trump administration will improve healthcare system

A slight minority, 48 percent, anticipate a positive financial impact on their practice.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

(Gage Skidmore)(Gage Skidmore)

Aprima Medical Software recently conducted a post-presidential election survey of healthcare professionals, finding that a slight majority of physicians and practice staff believe a Trump presidency will improve healthcare in the United States.

Of the 312 professionals taking part in the survey, 52 percent believe the Trump administration will improve the overall healthcare picture, while a slight minority, 48 percent, anticipate a positive financial impact on their practice.

The majority of healthcare professionals, 62 percent, also expect changes to some aspects of the Affordable Care Act, though less than one-third expect a total repeal. Fifty-nine percent are optimistic that physician practices will experience a decrease in regulatory burdens, though respondents were divided in terms of the potential impact on provider compensation models and on patient access to care.

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[Also: Backlash mounts over AMA endorsement of Tom Price as HHS leader]

"This presidential election cycle was one of the most unpredictable in recent history and we were curious to understand what customers and prospects believe the impact will be on our industry," said Michael Nissenbaum, CEO and president of Aprima, in a statement. "I think it's particularly notable that the majority of the survey participants expect a Trump administration to be better for healthcare than what we've experienced under the Obama administration, though 30 percent predict it will be worse. Healthcare providers, like the rest of the country, appear cautiously optimistic, though not overwhelmingly convinced that we'll see positive changes under the new administration."

The survey, which was emailed to almost 19,000 healthcare professionals following the November 8 election, allowed participants to clarify why they believed healthcare would be better or worse under a Trump administration. Many expressed predictions that certain aspects of Obamacare will be repealed and replaced with programs that include fewer regulatory burdens on providers and lower premiums for consumers. Other healthcare professionals voiced concerns that the number of uninsured patients will increase and create additional burdens on the industry.

[Also: Trump administration could increase role of community hospitals in pop health through revised tax policies, researchers say]

"The survey results reflect some uncertainty about how provider compensation will be impacted," said Nissenbaum. "In recent years, we have seen a shift from fee-for-service compensation models to plans that reward providers for cost-effective care and quality-outcomes. Though 38 percent of the healthcare professionals predict we'll continue in this direction, 40 percent believe we'll see a shift back to fee-for-service. Participants were also evenly split in terms of how patient access to care will be affected, with 36 percent anticipating access becoming more difficult and 36 percent predicting no significant impact to accessibility."

Of those responding to the survey, 89 percent were affiliated with independent physician offices and included both Aprima customers and non-customers. Physicians and other clinical professionals represented 52 percent of the participants, while 48 percent were administrative staff members.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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