Friday, April 5, 2013

Docs Weigh In on Future of Medicine

Deloitte just released their 2013 Survey of U.S. Physicians and the results reveal important attitudes and beliefs among practicing physicians.

For example, 38% of physicians believe the ACA is "A Step in the Wrong Direction." This is down from last year (44%) but continues to be ominously high as we head into the final stages of implementation of the new law.  Without physician buy-in, it's hard to imagine the ACA truly reforming healthcare.  On a positive note, physicians uniformly agree that "Patient relationships" and "Protecting and promoting the health of individuals" are the most satisfying aspects of practicing medicine.

The study also illustrates the differences in the opinions and convictions among various categories of doctors.

For example, among physicians dissatisfied with the practice of medicine, PCPs and Non-Surgical Specialists agree that "less time with each patient" is the chief grievance.  Meanwhile Surgical Specialists list their primary complaint as "long hours/work weeks".  Non-Surgical Specialists (67%) and Surgical Specialists (63%) are more likely to be satisfied with the practice of medicine than PCPs (59%).

Despite all the talk about payment reform, fee-for-service is still firmly entrenched in our healthcare system. The majority (73 percent) of physicians do not work in a setting that provides gain-sharing or an incentives program; only three in 10 do so.  Pay-for-performance is more prevalent in the primary care setting.  PCPs (37 percent) are significantly more likely to participate in such a program than Non-Surgical (25 percent) or Surgical Specialists (23 percent).

There were 613 completed surveys and the margin of error is +/- 3.89 percent at the .95 confidence level according to Deloitte.

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