Study: 90% of healthcare providers say Affordable Care Act is 'step forward,' but major revisions needed

Providers are excited about opportunities to address long-term health issues in the U.S., but worries about the transition persist, according to a new study by Mortenson Construction.

February 18, 2014 |
Ann&RobertH.LurieChildren'sHospital, Chicago

Nine out of 10 healthcare providers say the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be a “step forward” in addressing long-term health issues in the United States once it is fully established, and 83 percent say it is good for Americans, according to a survey of more than 190 healthcare leaders by Mortenson Construction.  

The providers did not make an unqualified endorsement of the ACA, however. A full 86 percent say the ACA needs major changes or revisions.

Providers are excited about opportunities to improve while worried about the transition under way. Nearly four out of five, or 79 percent, say health reform is creating significant uncertainty for their organizations and the healthcare industry.

Tellingly, 74 percent predict it will challenge their organization’s financial condition with 72 percent saying it already has.

Other insights:

• Overall optimism about the future of U.S. healthcare among healthcare providers dropped from 85 percent optimistic in 2012 to 60 percent optimistic in 2013

• Four out of five say the ACA will successfully shift reimbursements to pay for the quality of outcomes

• 71 percent say it will improve quality and outcomes, and 65 percent say it will lower the cost of care

• 95 percent of healthcare providers believe specialized facilities, such as MRI centers, cancer centers and urgent care centers will grow in prominence in the next three years

“The healthcare market is in the process of adapting to a new normal,” said Bob Nartonis, Senior Vice President and National Healthcare Market Leader at Mortenson. “Many institutions are rethinking their basic assumptions regarding how they should operate going forward, understanding that there are new rewards for those who can successfully adapt and unwanted consequences for those who cannot.”

To understand the impact of the Affordable Care Act on healthcare providers and their facilities, Mortenson spoke to healthcare professionals at the Healthcare Design Conference in November to better understand these issues and the impact on design and construction trends. More than 190 professionals provided feedback, including healthcare administrators and facilities leaders, architects, and academics.

The new models for healthcare delivery and payment are requiring new approaches to healthcare facilities. With the pressing need to become more efficient and cut costs, they are emphasizing more flexibility in facility design and layouts that make it easier for patients to find their way around and for multi-disciplinary teams to work together. They also are relying more heavily on innovative technologies and project delivery methods to streamline construction to improve success.

Mortenson is one of the leading healthcare contractors in the U.S. and has completed more than 18.5 million square feet of healthcare construction and renovations nationwide in the past 10 years.  

Download a free copy of the 2014 Mortenson Construction Healthcare Industry Study

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