Cyber Week is here! Unleash savings from Nov. 20-29. Use code CYBER23 at checkout for 20% off your order. Hurry, exclusions apply! Don’t miss out on the biggest deals of the year!

Survey Reveals Clues About Physician Burnout but Who is Listening?

Is the healthcare industry tone deaf to physicians’ complaints?

The Physicians Foundation 2018 Physician Survey, published on Sept. 18, 2018, features opinions of our nation’s physicians—opinions that are sobering and should sound a loud wake-up call. 

When distilled down to the very essence of the report, the “fixes” for our broken healthcare system are not only not working, they are causing even more problems. 

Electronic health records (EHR), payment for quality, hospital and physician alignment, interoperability and other initiatives do not have the promised results.  The Feb. 14, 2019, Modern Healthcare A.M. article, “Quality of care isn’t better at physician-employed hospitals, study shows,” is yet another independent study highlighting the chasm between what was supposed to happen and what is happening.  I think we may be on a runaway train to nowhere at tremendous cost and burden with little or no return on investment.  Consider that most physicians have spent longer becoming a physician than the rest of us spent in kindergarten through high school graduation.  Thoughtfully listening to what our physicians tell us could pave the way for the best patient outcomes.  What are those key lessons?

  • 61 percent feel negative about the future of medicine
  • 55 percent of our physicians describe morale as negative
  • 78 percent experience feelings of burnout
  • 80 percent say there are at capacity or overextended
  • 46 percent say the relationship with hospitals is negative
  • 47 percent say payment is tied to quality but only 18percent believe it improves patient care or decreases cost. For hospital-employed physicians, that number is worse. 
  • 58 percent say it does not improve quality or decrease cost. Only 13percent believe those goals are met.

Greater than 70 percent of adult patients have at least one unhealthy habit such as, smoking, obesity, or excessive alcohol use.  31 percent of patients do not follow the treatment plans.

Although it varies by state, the average waiting time for a new patient appointment in family medicine is 72-153 days. 

More than 30 percent of primary care providers do not accept Medicaid and 22percent don’t accept or limit Medicare patients

A full 23 percent of physician time is spent on non-clinical activities or responsibilities such as insurance or other administrative requirements

When our physicians were asked what the biggest impediments are to practicing medicine, it is blatantly obvious; EHR, regulations and insurance, and loss of clinical autonomy.  In fact, EHR dissatisfaction continues to grow, increasing 12 percent since 2016.  Specific to EHR, about 28 percent say it improved quality, about 25 percent believe it improved efficiency and only 8 percent believe it improved patient interaction, a large decrease from 33 percent in 2016.  In fact, 66 percent now say it is a detraction from patient interaction.  That mirrors what patients think about providers more involved in clicking boxes than eye contact and listening.  When combined with the growing risks associated with EHR inaccuracies such as coding and billing, enforcement interest, medical malpractice risk, etc., this is a serious red flag for the healthcare industry.

As the physician shortage continues to grow due to; retirements, leaving clinical medicine for other careers, declining medical school enrollments and lost patient time to non-clinical requirements, the negative impact on patients will also grow.  The 23percent of time spent in non-clinical activities alone is equivalent to an estimated loss of 19,200 full-time equivalent hours.

The most shocking and sobering finding from this survey is that depression is common, and suicide is stated to be the highest of any profession.  Possible causes are the complete disconnect between physicians and non-clinical third parties, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), insurance, and regulations determining practice requirements.  Our physicians’ ability to do what they trained for and what attracted them to the practice of medicine has been circumscribed by external forces.  In essence, physicians cannot be physicians and do what is best for their patients. 

Our loud wake-up call is we are killing our physicians, figuratively and literally.

Resources:

https://physiciansfoundation.org/research-insights/the-physicians-foundation-2018-physician-survey/

https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20190213/NEWS/190219970


Program Note:

Listen to nationally renowned psychiatrist H. Steven Moffic, MD report on physician burnout live today on Talk Ten Tuesday, 10-10:30 a.m. EST.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Print

Holly Louie, RN, BSN, CHBME

Holly Louie, a member of the ICD10monitor editorial board, is a former compliance officer and past president of the Healthcare Business and Management Association. Louie has been a guest cohost on Talk Ten Tuesdays with Chuck Buck.

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

Please log in to your account to comment on this article.

Featured Webcasts

Revolutionize Case Management and Revenue Cycle Team Collaboration to Improve Patient and Financial Outcomes

Revolutionize Case Management and Revenue Cycle Team Collaboration to Improve Patient and Financial Outcomes

Unlock the keys to bridging the clinical-finance disconnect by transforming your approach to revenue cycle collaboration for superior patient care and financial prosperity!

Join Dr. Ronald Hirsch as he delves into the pivotal connection between case management, utilization review, and hospital revenue cycles, unveiling strategies to enhance communication and align goals effectively. Discover how to overcome hidden challenges hindering seamless collaboration and gain insights imperative for success

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
December 7, 2023
Mastering the Two-Midnight Rule: Keys to Navigating Short-Stay Admissions with Confidence

Mastering the Two-Midnight Rule: Keys to Navigating Short-Stay Admissions with Confidence

The CMS Two-Midnight Rule and short-stay audits are here to stay, impacting inpatient and outpatient admissions, ASC procedures, and Medicare Parts C & D. New for 2024, the Two-Midnight Rule applies to Medicare Advantage patients, requiring differentiation between Medicare plans affecting Case Managers, Utilization Review, and operational processes and knowledge of a vital distinction between these patients that influences post-discharge medical reviews and compliance risk. Join Michael G. Calahan for a comprehensive webcast covering federal laws for all admission processes. Gain the knowledge needed to navigate audits effectively and optimize patient access points, personnel, and compliance strategies. Learn Two-Midnight Rule essentials, Medicare Advantage implications, and compliance best practices. Discover operational insights for short-stay admissions, outpatient observation, and the ever-changing Inpatient-Only Listing.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
September 19, 2023
Unlocking Clinical Documentation Excellence: Empowering CDISs & Coders

Unlocking Clinical Documentation Excellence: How to Engage the Provider

Uncover effective techniques to foster provider understanding of CDI, empower CDISs and coders to customize their queries for enhanced effectiveness, and learn to engage adult learners, leveraging their experiences for superior learning outcomes. Elevate your CDI expertise, leading to fewer coding errors, reduced claim denials, and minimized audit issues.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
December 14, 2023
Coding for Spinal Procedures: A 2-Part Webcast Series

Coding for Spinal Procedures: A 2-Part Webcast Series

This exclusive ICD10monitor webcast series will help you acquire the critical knowledge you need to completely and accurately assign ICD-10-PCS and CPT® codes for spinal fusion and other common spinal procedures.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
October 26, 2023
Inpatient Spinal Fusions: Mastering Anatomy, Coding and Documentation

Inpatient Spinal Fusions: Mastering Anatomy, Coding and Documentation

During this exclusive ICD10monitor webcast, inpatient coders will gain a profound understanding of prevalent spinal procedures. They’ll delve into the intricate anatomy, grasp the purpose and method behind these procedures, uncover essential elements within physician documentation, and receive expert guidance, step by step, on constructing accurate ICD-10-PCS codes. It’s the key to enhancing their expertise and ensuring coding precision.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
October 26, 2023

Trending News