Primary care physicians are hurting. More than 1/4 are currently under financial strain. Their income is down because of decreased insurance reimbursements, making it hard to cover the cost of their practice and have enough to take care of their families. Obamacare will bring more patients into an already broken system, but the number of physicians will remain the same, and this shortage will result in care rationing. These physicians will continue to see drops in income as their costs increase even more, and their patients’ care will suffer.
Physicians who want to free themselves from the restrictions of insurance can find cash-paying patients at MediBid. These patients wish to save money by requesting affordable medical care from physicians who will provide timely medical care outside of an insurance network.
One in four PCPs struggles financially, boosting shortage
Nearly 50% have not had salary increase in one to two years
August 02, 2012
More than 25% of primary care physicians (PCPs) say they struggle financially, giving them less incentive to stick with primary care, according to the latest Physician Wellbeing Index from QuantiaMD. The index measures four pillars of wellbeing: physical health, mental health, social health and financial health. The report also found:
• 81% of physician practice owners say that profits are down since 2011;
• 80% said a decrease in reimbursements is the top “negative financial impact” to their practices;
• 49% of PCPs have not had a salary increase in one to two years;
• 43% said they have trouble covering costs of their practice; and
• 18% of PCPs have experienced salary cuts.
If financial challenges deter young physicians from entering careers in primary care or cause PCPs to leave their practices, “will there be enough primary care doctors for the influx of patients expected to enter the system?” asks Richard Roberts, president of the World Organization of Family Doctors.
The Affordable Care Act is expected to increase the number of PCPs by about 3,000 over the next decade, but nationwide communities still need about 45,000 more PCPs according to some health experts.
Editor of the report, Mike Paskavitz, says the index was created when online discussion about PCP challenges grew so great that it had to be addressed.
Looking at the trends, the “individual private practice PCP does not feel viable” Paskavitz says. Given stagnant reimbursement rates, combined with the financial burden of implementing new technologies, “these doctors are gravitating” elsewhere as a result (Anderson, Healthcare Finance News, 8/1).