Moreover, Schoeling said, no one is really sure how to set up one of these ACOs. He said four large ones have already been set up, and in every one the cost has been 18 percent higher than if things had just been left alone.
The overall effect for doctors and patients alike? Fewer choices and more expense, according to Schoeling.
The effect … a lot of primary care physicians will no longer be in private practice. Even the AMA estimates that 60 percent of physicians over age 50 (the average primary care physician is in his late 50s) will leave practice within three years.
He said some will go to work for hospitals or the government — but those close to retirement will likely hang it up:
If it was really going to save money, you might think maybe it was a good thing, but it’s not. It’s about control. It was never about money, it was always about control. They’re going to make it impossible for private physicians to stay in practice. There’s no way conceivable, if this is implemented as it is, I will be able to stay in private practice.