4 Strategies for Fed-Up Physicians

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , August 2, 2012

It sounded like the doctor was cataloging the symptoms of a disease state.  He represented the ailing state of physicians. Jackson Healthcare tallied the complaints: a "complex business environment, hassles with insurance companies, billing, collections, administrative work, hospital pressures and quality of life issues." Many physicians want to work fewer hours, spend more time with family, more time on vacation, provide less call coverage and gain a more manageable workload.

Among the public, "the perception is these guys are all filthy rich, but it's not true anymore, especially for those primary care docs," Sorrell says. "Some are just trying to keep their practices open."

But physicians are in the business of fixing ills, aren't they? Around the same time Jackson conducted its survey, The Physicians Foundation—a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance the work of practicing physicians and help facilitate the delivery of healthcare to patients—issued two reports that echoed what doctors view as their dismal state. But there was a twist: the reports said that physicians can take steps to control their own destiny and stay in business.

Stephen Isaacs, JD, an attorney and president of the Center for Health and Social Policy, and Paul S. Jellinek, PhD, former vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, stated in their report that, "while it is indeed possible to survive and even thrive in private practice in the current environment, business as usual is not an option. Serious steps must be taken to the new realities and implementing these steps may well take some physicians outside of their comfort zones."

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2 comments on "4 Strategies for Fed-Up Physicians"

taylors (8/2/2012 at 6:10 PM)
Excellent article! The points are very practical and we are big supporters of the Fix Your Practice. The amount of money Practices loose by not collecting co-pays up front or having the billing in disarray is staggering. If Physicians and Management looks at the allowed amounts under their contracts and set a goal to collect it all rather than just 80% or even worse 0%, the economic picture would start to emerge as promising.

Tabor Nuns (8/2/2012 at 2:32 PM)
No one is leaving his practice. Leave and do what? Be a bartender? And why blame it on health reform headaches? WHAT headaches? Health reform starts in 2014, if you're having a headache now, it has nothing to do with reform. Sure, salaries may go down but they would go down no matter what the health insurance landscape is. Salaries have stagnanted for years yet doctors are not leaving the profession[INVALID]we dont' know how to do anything else!




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