Effects of State Managed Care Patient Protection Laws on Physician Satisfaction

Medical Care Research and Review-October 2007
Vol. 64, No. 5
October 2007
Sloan, F.A., Rattliff, J.R., and M.A. Hall
pp. 585-99

Physician dissatisfaction often drives public policy, and is associated with lower quality of care and disruption of treatment relationships. Physicians expressed strong dissatisfaction with managed care, leading to enactment of patient protection laws. By 2001, almost all states enacted laws to curb alleged abuses of managed care organizations. To date, no studies have examined whether such laws improved physician satisfaction. This article examines whether enactment of these laws improved physician satisfaction, using responses to the Physician Survey component of the Community Tracking Study (CTS), supplemented with data on state statutes/regulations. Career satisfaction increased for both primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists following enactment of such laws; improvements were limited to early-adopting states. Enactment was associated with improvements in early-adopting states for specialists but not for PCPs on: ability to provide high quality care, clinical freedom, and ability to make clinical decisions in patients' interests without sacrificing physician income.

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