Bad news for private practice physicians

Here are three healthcare updates that private practice physicians should be aware of:

1. Nearly one-fourth of physicians may be considering leaving their roles. 

A study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, University of Wisconsin School of Nursing in Madison, Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis and the American Medical Association found that approximately 24.3 percent of physicians plan to quit their roles in the next two years, with an additional 47.3 percent reporting feeling burned out.

Researchers found that work overload could be a predictor of burnout and intent to leave. Overloaded healthcare workers had 2.2 to 2.9 times the risk of experiencing burnout, while overloaded physicians and healthcare workers had 1.7 to 2.1 times the risk of intending to leave their jobs in the next two years. 

2. Physician turnover is on the rise. 

The annual physician turnover rate increased by 43 percent between 2010 and 2018, according to recent data published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Physician turnover was defined as physicians moving to a new practice or leaving the practice of medicine and experienced the greatest increase from 2010 to 2014 when it rose from 5.3 to 7.2 percent.

The report also found that younger physicians were more likely to move to a new practice, with 5.6 percent of physicians between 35 and 44 years old moving in a given year. Meanwhile, only 2.6 percent of physicians 65 or older did the same.

3. The rate of physician practice ownership is declining.

Physicians are less likely to work in private practice now than they were 10 years ago, according to a recently released analysis of physician practice agreements from the American Medical Association. 

Factors including regulatory and administrative burdens and economic pressures have forced physicians to shift to hospital and health system settings. 

About 70 percent of surveyed physicians indicated gaining more favorable payment rates with payers and improving access to costly resources was an important or very important reason for selling their practice to a hospital or health system.

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