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US sees no surge in new patient visits despite increase in health insurance

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4672 (Published 17 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4672
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Although an estimated 20 million people in the United States have obtained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, US doctors have not yet seen a surge in new patient visits, a new report has claimed.1

The report was the first to be released by the ACAView project, an effort to track the effects of the 2010 health reform law on physicians’ day to day practice. The initiative is a joint project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and athenaResearch—a department of athenahealth, which is a healthcare information technology company that provides electronic health record and practice management services to 52 000 US healthcare providers.

Data entered by providers into athenahealth’s ambulatory care management service gave a “near real time” view of the types of patients visiting doctors, the type of care they receive, and how their care affects the economics of medical practice, the ACAView analysts wrote.

The three year project will continue to track practice changes through to 2016. …

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