In the news: 3 recent articles about physician burnout

"In the news" posts include a collection of news clippings about a specific topic. This weeks "In the news" topic is physician burnout.  

Physician burnout is a public health crisis according to a 2018 paper published through a collaboration between The Massachusetts Medical Society, Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard Global Health Institute. 

Read on to see the latest news about physician burnout. 


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New payment models could help alleviate physician burnout
A Medical Economics physician survey found patient needs that overwhelm doctors is a leading cause of physician burnout. The CMO at Equality Health believes one of the reasons primary care physicians feel overwhelmed by patient needs is that too many practices are under the fee-for-service model. He believes payment reform is a move in the right direction, he says. By transitioning to financial models that reward value and quality of care as opposed to volume, he argues, primary care practices can escape fee-for-service medicine in a way that prioritizes the doctor-patient relationship. Transitioning to value-based care won't be an easy shift, he says. To achieve transformation, he concludes practices will require not only new financial models but new technology, new workflows, additional staff training and support.
Read the full story from Medical Economics

Study shows 40% of physician burnout attributable to EHRs

EHRs are largely to blame for the physician burnout and stress epidemic that runs rampant in the medical industry, according to researchers from the University of New Mexico (UNM). Past research has shown about 13% of physician self-reported levels of stress and burnout were directly correlated to EHRs. However, the director of Biomedical Informatics Research at UNM disagrees with that percentage. According to his survey, clinical process design and the clinical structure, both of which are highly impacted by EHRs, contribute to approximately 40% of clinician stress.

Read the full story from EHR Intelligence 

Survey: Physician willingness to use telehealth increases, motivated by access, burnout
American Well's 2019 physician survey finds 69% of physicians would be willing to use telehealth, up from 57% in 2015. This increase in physician willingness is the result of a decrease in the number of physicians who are unsure about telehealth. Other findings include:
A total of 22% of physicians have used telehealth to see patients, up 340% from 2015 when only 5% of physicians reported having ever used telehealth
Access is a key driver of telehealth adoption
There's a high correlation between burnout and interest in telehealth
By 2022, between 340,000 and 590,000 physicians expect to be using telehealth
While most physicians use telehealth occasionally, by 2022 over half say they will use it frequently
Physician barriers to telehealth include uncertainty around reimbursement and questions about clinical appropriateness.

Download the report from American Well (registration required)

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