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Deloitte Physician Survey

By May 21, 2013Commentary

Physicians remain the linchpin of the American health system, since they control access to many services.  How they feel about the health system and their situation is therefore important.  A Deloitte Center for Health Solutions survey took stock of current attitudes on a number of subjects.   (Deloitte Survey)   Most doctors, 70%, are satisfied with practicing medicine, with satisfaction higher among specialists and younger physicians.  The most satisfying parts of their work are patient relationships and the promotion of health among patients.  The least satisfying are long hours and less time for each patient.  Almost 60%, however, express concern about the future of the health system and medicine and think many doctors may retire early.  Doctors generally believe ACOs have some ability to improve care and in general find a tradeoff between more economic security working in large organizations and clinical autonomy in smaller practices.  Almost half of physicians expect their income to decrease as a result of the reform law.  Most expect the reform law to continue to be rolled out as planned, with largely negative consequences.  Doctors are concerned about Medicare reimbursement and many would limit seeing Medicare beneficiaries if reimbursement does not improve.  Generally they expect the trend toward consolidation with larger health systems to continue.  More so than other surveys, this one suggests that most doctors are satisfied with their EHRs, but largely because of improved billing and time savings through e-prescribing, as well as better care coordination.  Most doctors believe patient lifestyles have a major effect on health costs, and they think that properly designed incentives can help encourage wellness activities.

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