Physicians today are being asked to see more patients and complete more administrative tasks than ever before. And this is before EMRs are thrown into the mix, and all of the regulation faced in New York State.  This environment is taking a toll on our physicians. 

Over 1,500 New York State Physicians were surveyed last year with startling findings:

      • 70% of NYS physicians feel a great deal of stress because of their job
      • 57% are burned out (63% of females, 53% of males)
      • Half of NYS physicians are not satisfied with their jobs
      • Only 58% of NYS physicians would choose to be a physician again if they could revisit their career choice
      • Peak burnout occurs about 10-19 years out of training

    There is an impact on the delivery system when our physicians are burned out or over stressed.  This includes systemic and patient issues, financial issues, and personal issues for the physician.

    Systemic & Patient

    Financial

    Personal

    • Increased medical errors and malpractice claims
    • Disruptive behavior
    • Reduced empathy for patients
    • Reduced patient adherence to treatment
    • Reduced career satisfaction
    • 27% drop in patient satisfaction scores
    • 40% of turnover costs are attributed to work stress
    • 114% increase of medical claims by employees
    • 30% of short and long-term disability costs
    • Higher Suicide among physicians (3 physician suicides in Rochester 2014 – 2016)
    • Substance abuse
    • Divorce and family trouble
    • Increased Heart Disease and Depression

    Physician Burnout is most strongly correlated with the following three variables:

      • Increased job stress is related to higher levels of physician burnout (r = 0.511,
        p < 0.001).
      • More control over workload is related to lower levels of physician burnout (r = -0.483, p < 0.001).
      • Greater job satisfaction is related to lower levels of physician burnout (r = -0.436,
        p < 0.001)*.

      *More control over workload is actually the strongest variable related to higher job satisfaction (r=.0497, p <0.001)

      Practice location is not significantly related to physician burnout or satisfaction.  This affects all physicians, not only the private / employed / inpatient / outpatient / specialist / generalist physician.  Also, proficiency with an electronic medical record does NOT significantly impact burnout.  In fact, of the top 10 work stressors of NYS physicians, 80% are organizational/systemically based.

      What is MCMS Doing About This?

      MCMS and MSSNY fight every day to improve the lives of our community’s physicians.  We address the needs of physicians in two ways: systemic issues facing physicians, and how to support physicians’ acute needs and promote wellness.

      Systemic issues:

      • The length and degree of documentation is directly driven by regulation of medicine in NYS and increases the need for physicians to document more in order to comply with the law and also protect themselves against malpractice lawsuits.  MSSNY and MCMS meet with state and local legislators regularly throughout the year to maintain a relationship with them and their staffs while at the same time monitoring proposed legislation that will increase the burden on our physicians. 
      • We are constantly working with the payers to urge them to remove unnecessary and time consuming Prior Authorizations.  We regularly hear the exasperation from physicians trying to manage the varied and time consuming processes of all of the different payers.  Moreover, the Quality Collaborative of the MCMS is truly unique and a great treasure to this community.  Through the demonstration projects we undertake we hope to show payers that there is no need for specific prior authorizations in this community.
      • MCMS offers quality educational seminars to physicians and their staff monthly.  These seminars allow the practices to remain current with the changing healthcare environment.   As an additional MCMS member service, physician and their practice staff  may refer patients with practice related questions or issues to MCMS anytime to provide the patient with information and clarification on healthcare related questions and provide mediation intervention if needed.    This service can relieve stress and tension on the physicians and their office staff.
      • All member physicians are welcome to provide their input to the MCMS Community Guidelines, which tailor national/regional guidelines to fit this community.  There is no better way to ensure their individual voices are counted in deciding good care for patients. These guidelines are disseminated to the community and utilized by hospitals, ACOs, private practice physicians, and payers.
      • MCMS is one of only five organizations in New York State (and one of only two in upstate NY) able to sponsor projects that offer Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit.  We strive to ensure our physicians have access to projects (or can develop projects) that are meaningful without adding burden in order to receive this credit.

      What are the top 10 Work Related Stressors in Physicians?

      1. Length and degree of Documentation Requirements
      2. Extension of Workplace into Home Life (e.g. email, phone calls, completion of records, etc)
      3. Prior Authorizations
      4. Dealing with difficult patients
      5. EMR functionality problems
      6. CMS/State/Federal laws and regulations
      7. Lack of voice in being able to decide what good care is
      8. Hospital/Insurance company imposed Quality Metrics
      9. Dealing with difficult colleagues
      10. Requirement for increased CME/MOC

      What Else Needs to Be Done?

      • First and foremost we need physicians to stand together as members of MCMS.  It is through their collective support that we derive our strength. Join here.

      • We will continue to work with stakeholders in the community to ensure opportunities for collaborative, community wide efforts to mitigate systemic issues in our community.

      • Additionally, while this work is ongoing and never ending, we recognize that many physicians need relief TODAY.  To this end we want to promote our Physician Wellness Center and encourage physicians to take advantage of any and all resources available to them.

      What Can I Do?

      • Take action to put your health and well-being first.  MCMS has developed an online resource center to help you however you find it best.  Of course, we must also continue to advocate for a physician friendly delivery system.  
      • Join MCMS.  If you are a member, get engaged in the Physician Advocacy Network.  It is through this network that Physician leaders meet with their elected officials to strengthen relationships and share what is important to you and your patients.  Additionally through this network will be the opportunity to attend social events and gatherings with elected officials to represent physicians and ensure that your interests are top of mind for politicians and their staff.
      • Donate to MSSNYPAC.  In the 2016-2017 Legislative session other Political Action Committees outspent physicians by as much as 4-1!  MSSNYPAC needs your support.  
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