As Republicans in Congress take aim the Affordable Care Act, healthcare executives say they are far less concerned about reform and regulatory oversight than last year, the latest GE Capital Healthcare Financial Services survey of 521 senior healthcare executives found.
While implementing reforms mandated the Affordable Care Act remains a top issues, the survey, which GE released on Tuesday, found only 43 percent of respondents dubbed the ACA as their top concern. That’s compared to 57 percent last year.
Regulatory oversight came in second, cited by 30 percent of those taking the survey compared to 23 percent in 2014.
The number of healthcare execs worrying about Obamacare is dropping. –
The U.S. economy came in third at 17 percent, compared to 13 percent last year.
Overall, healthcare leaders are optimistic about the future and are relying on a combination of mergers and acquisitions and organic growth to expand, according to the survey.
More than two-thirds, 68 percent, said they expect their business to perform more strongly in 2015 than in 2014.
Less than one-third, or 29 percent said it would perform the same and only three percent said that it would be weaker this year.
GE Capital conducted the survey shortly before the large gathering of healthcare professionals in San Francisco coinciding with J.P. Morgan’s Annual Healthcare Conference from Jan. 12 to 15.
Respondents included executives representing pharmaceuticals, healthcare information technology and medical technology companies, hospitals, healthcare service providers and health systems, as well as other industry participants, according to GE Capital.
When it came to issues affecting growth, 38 percent picked revitalizing and upgrading existing offerings, 37 percent favored buying or merging with existing businesses and 25 percent planned to launch new segments or lines of business in 2015.
But when asked about their expected capital needs in 2015, 67 percent of survey respondents said they expect them to remain about the same, while 27 percent said they would be significantly higher.
The C-suite, however, was divided on the question of whether there will be changes to the ACA. Forty-three percent said they expect moderate changes and 41 percent expect insignificant changes despite the Republican majority that now controls the legislative branch.
Meanwhile, 64 percent said their own employee healthcare costs will be slightly higher in 2015, while 22 percent said they’ll be significantly higher.