New analysis of national healthcare data has found that physician practices have not seen a significant increase in demand since the ACA’s individual mandate went into effect last year (Source: “Patient load manageable under Affordable Care Act” Modern Healthcare, March 25, 2015).
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study, which was conducted by Massachusetts-based software company athenahealth, found that the proportion of new-patient visits at primary-care providers increased by only .3 percentage points between 2013 and 2014 and no evidence surfaced that cases were significantly more complex.
Providers are conducting a higher proportion of comprehensive new-patient assessments, however. These increased 4.5% in the period examined. Data from the report comes from athenahealth's customers, which tend to be larger practices.