first_imgState Representative George Till (D-Jericho) today released the results of the 2011 Vermont Physician Legislative Survey. The survey results indicate that physicians themselves are split on “single-payer” insurance, but that many specialists would consider leaving the state if it were instituted. This may be because of compensation, where the survey shows that Vermont would be a more attractive place to practice if reimbursement rates were higher. The survey respondents favored physician-assisted suicide legislation. They also overwhelmingly supported “no fault” malpractice insurance and believed that it would make Vermont a more attractive place to practice. Till conducted the survey with a Departmental faculty support grant from the University of Vermont School of Medicine. This survey is the first of its kind, in that it was offered to all active licensed physicians in the state of Vermont and was not conducted by a governmental agency. Survey invitations were sent to 1,686 licensed physicians, and approximately 610 physicians (36 percent) completed the on-line survey.The survey asked 25 questions. Thirty-seven percent (37 percent) of the respondents self-identified as primary care physicians. The respondents ranged in age from 29 years to 81 years old.Below are the results sorted by all physicians first, followed by primary care physicians only and then specialty care physicians. Text responses to open ended questions follow.SELECTED FINDINGS Health Care Reform 1) Although physicians are evenly split in support (44.2%) and opposition (45.6%) to a ‘single payer’ health care system, 28.4% of respondents say they are likely to stop practicing in Vermont should a ‘single payer’ system be initiated;. 53.4% say they would not be likely to stop practicing here and 18.1% were neutral. 2) Among specialists 37% say they are likely to stop practicing in Vermont whereas among primary care physicians the number was 13.9%. 3) Physician opinion that a ‘no fault’ medical compensation system as opposed to the current malpractice system would make Vermont a more attractive place to practice was 73.1%; 5.3% disagree; and 21.6% were neutral. 4) 64.6% of respondents favor a ‘public option’ for health insurance to compete with private insurers. Physician Assisted Suicide/ Death with Dignity 1) Given the protections in the current proposal, 58.8% of physician respondents overall favor passage of legislation allowing Physician Assisted Suicide/Death with Dignity. 2) Overall 22.1% of physicians would be ‘likely to participate’ in the program.3) Among primary care physicians, 61.5% favor passage and 34.1% would be ‘likely to participate.’4) 13% of respondents thought there were additional protections for physicians or patients that should be included. Consumption taxes 1) There is strong physician support for a 1 penny per ounce excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages (71.7%). 2) There is strong support for a similar tax on ‘junk food’ (65.5%). Primary Care workforce issues 1) Increasing reimbursements to primary care physicians was considered the most important tool to correct Vermont’s shortage (73.8%). 2) Specifically among primary care physicians, 81.1% consider increased reimbursement to be the most important factor in attracting and retaining more primary care physicians. 3) The two factors considered next most important were increased loan repayment programs and reducing paperwork.  The entire survey and results along with individual comments can be viewed at: georgetill.comlast_img

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