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Top Challenges Physicians Face in 2018

Adaptive Medical Partners | Physician Recruiting, Physicians

Across medical practices in the United States, physicians in all specialties operate in shared political and healthcare environments. Current conditions in the field of medicine have created some common challenges for providers and administrators in the healthcare industry. From uncertainty about the future landscape of healthcare to added administrative burden brought about by recent changes in health policy, here are some of physicians’ top concerns in 2018.

1. Avoiding Burnout

Physician burnout is not unique to the new year, of course, but it is the perennial challenge faced by physicians more than others. Between 2013 and 2017, levels of burnout reported by physicians of all specialties increased. In addition to the internal stresses inherent in the nature of their profession, external pressures have multiplied, ranging from uncertainty about reimbursements, productivity losses from conversion to electronic health records (EHR) and emphasis on reporting quality measures, and strain from the shortage of physicians. Burnout causes negative effects on a personal as well as professional level, not only impacting individual levels of satisfaction and commitment to the job but also affecting the quality of patient care. Burnout may contribute to increased turnover rates, leaving facilities struggling to fill staffing and care gaps.

2. Amount of Time Spent Documenting the EHR

Although implementation of EHR brings many benefits to healthcare providers and patients alike, physicians often experience the added administrative burden that comes with navigating EHR workflows. Physicians are tasked with striking a balance between spending time interacting with a patient and interfacing with a computer screen. Overall, many physicians find themselves spending a significantly greater portion of their time on administrative tasks such as data entry.

3. Requirements for Prior Authorizations

Many physicians view insurance companies’ requirement to obtain prior authorization to perform certain procedures as interference in the practice of medicine. Having to delay provision of services to patients pending insurance company approval of prior authorization requests negatively impacts productivity as well as patient care. Physicians are forced to complete additional administrative tasks without added compensation when they must fill out forms and follow-up with insurance staff in order to get the necessary approvals. They are forced into an awkward position between the patient and the insurance bureaucracy.

4. Ever-Changing Reimbursement Requirements and Policies

The national political landscape–in particular the attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and curb the costs of healthcare–contributes to uncertainty across the industry. Medicare and other payers’ shifting emphasis on value-based care reimbursement models adds layers of administrative complexities to reporting and compensation, as well as confusion around meeting regulatory compliance. Missed reporting deadlines, mistakes in data reported, and misunderstanding of quality measure requirements result in payment reductions.

5. Decision to Remain Independent

An American Medical Association study found that for the first time the percentage of practices where a physician has at least some ownership stake in providing care to patients dropped to less than half in 2016. Many physicians are finding it necessary to join larger physician groups or practice in hospitals rather than running their practice. Remaining independent is increasingly challenging, given the rising costs of maintaining compliance and the shrinking margins from value-based care models.

You shouldn’t have to grapple with the challenge of matching talented physicians with healthcare providers alone. Contact Adaptive Medical Partners, a premier recruiting agency, to discuss your staffing needs and recruiting strategies for this year and beyond.