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Survey Outcome Not Reflective Of Oneida County Drs.

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Utica, NY (WIBX) - A survey conducted by nonpartisan group Doctor Patient Medical Association, indicates more than eight in ten U.S. doctors have considered leaving their medical practices, over concerns about the healthcare reform law. Richard Chetcham, President and CEO at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Utica, says the survey doesn’t reflect what’s happening in Oneida County. “There are physicians that are extremely frustrated with everything they deal with–the medical legal system being one of the biggest aspects and barriers to practice–but, I have not had any physicians come in and say as a result of this new law that they would get out of medicine,” he said.

He says he hasn’t read the study, but so far what he’s seeing is doctors express the opposite. “That some patients will now have insurance that perhaps they were seeing without insurance previously,” he said. Ketcham says there’s a lot to be pleased about with the law, however, he adds that the good news for uninsured patients and hospitals does come with a price.

“We are treating many people everyday that are uninsured and this will provide them with some insurance, depending on their income level, it could be through Medicaid or through some kind of an exchange system, but it would allow people that are uninsured to gain some insurance. However, it’s very important that I quickly add there’s cost implications that has to be understood as a society,” he said.

Ketcham says he has mixed emotions about the law, explaining that as a hospital CEO, he sees it as very positive for the healthcare industry and patients. As a citizen he says his emotions are mixed, pointing to the overall short and long-term cost implications for taxpayers. He says his feelings about it are balanced, knowing that the additional cost to insure the uninsured, would be borne by the federal government, not by local taxpayers. The healthcare reform law is set to take effect 1/1/14.

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