Likewise, he and his staff would have to go through extensive — and expensive — training to operate the new systems.
The total cost, for equipment, training, and extra hours needed to put all records in (about 6,000 in total) electronically? Kiteck estimated about $20,000 — and that may be a conservative figure.
As such, Kiteck decided it was time to go ahead and close his practice rather than face the time and expense of conforming to new regulations.
Kiteck took advantage of the visibility of the Commonwealth Journal to let his patients know about the development. On the first of December, Kiteck started running an ad that would continue for days. It read: “Due to the policies of Obamacare, Stephen Kiteck, MD, will be closing his medical practice on December 31, 2013. ... Dr. Kiteck wishes to thank all his patients that have visited his officer over the past 20 years, and apologizes for this inconvenience.”
Of course, Obamacare is not an uncontroversial topic. With Republicans in Congress fighting to stop it in multiple ways over the past few years — including forcing a so-called “government shutdown” this past October — and criticism of the current administration for the technical glitches plaguing the ACA’s insurance exchange website, the issue of health care reform has found virtually a permanent place in headlines.
As such, Kiteck’s story became a rallying cry for Obamacare opponents, who could point toward Kiteck as an example of the policy’s failures, and an irritation for others more supportive of President Barack Obama’s agenda. The website Buzzfeed.com posted an article called “Here’s Why That Kentucky Doctor is Closing His Practice ‘Due to the Policies of Obamacare.’” The article challenged Kiteck’s use of the term “Obamacare,” arguing that the requirements toward going electronic were actually part of the 2009 federal stimulus act rather than the ACA.