Providers in need of more specialists, fewer primary care physicians, says report

Providers in need of more specialists, fewer primary care physicians, says report

by John R. Fischer, Staff Reporter | July 12, 2019
Primary Care

Miller says starting salary and a number of other variables impact the popularity of a specialty or lack thereof. He notes that concern around shortages in specialties is amplified by the 40 percent increase in the waiting and scheduling of appointments in 15 major cities between 2014 and 2017.

“In some cases, healthcare delayed is healthcare denied,” he said. “When you can get in to see a physician, they have less time to spend with you, and that affects quality of care. There are things that can be done, including directing some patient care to non-physician healthcare professionals such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Innovations such as telemedicine also can increase efficiency. The optimum course of action would be to train more specialists, but that takes time. The result for patients is less access to the care they need.”

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The report also indicated a rise in the use of value-based physician payments, with 56 percent of production bonuses offered by clients of Merritt Hawkins to physicians based in whole, or in part, on value-based metrics such as patient satisfaction and outcome measures. This marked an increase from 43 percent the year before and 39 percent two years prior.

The report was carried out between April 2018 and March 2019.

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