How Physicians View HHS Secretary Nominee Dr. Tom Price

Physicians Weigh in on HHS Secretary Nominee

By Tom Florence

If confirmed, president-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tom Price, M.D., would be the first doctor to hold the position in over 20 years, and only the third in the 60-year history of HHS.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has endorsed the nomination of Dr. Price, but how do physicians feel?

Merritt Hawkins conducted an email survey of physicians on November 30 and December 1 to explore this question. Approximately 1,100 physicians responded to the survey, the results of which were the subject of several media articles, including one in MarketWatch (a feature of the Wall Street Journal) and one in HealthLeaders.

As these articles note, physicians are divided on Dr. Price. The plurality believe he will improve medical practice conditions for doctors, but the plurality also believe that, if confirmed, he would detract from the ability of patients to access quality care.

These are, of course, first impressions, and we will all have to wait on the confirmation process and what comes after to get a better sense of Dr. Price’s impact on the healthcare system.

In the meantime, I would be happy to email readers an infographic illustrating the results of this brief, three-question survey, and would also be interested in any initial thoughts readers may have about Dr. Price.