SOCIAL IMPEDIMENTS TO HEALTH PERVASIVE, INDIANA PHYSICIANS SAY
By Kurt Mosley
Eighty-eight percent of physicians nationally indicate that some, many or all patients are affected by a social condition such as poverty, unemployment, lack of education, or drug addiction that poses a serious impediment to their health, according to a new survey. Among Indiana physicians completing the survey, the number also is higher at 91%.
These are among key findings of a major new survey of 8,772 physicians commissioned by The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance the work of practicing physicians and help facilitate the delivery of healthcare to patients. The survey was conducted for The Physicians Foundation by Merritt Hawkins, the nation's leading physician search and consulting firm. Titled 2018 Survey of America's Physicians: Practice Patterns and Perspectives, the research underscores the prevalence of social conditions undermining the health and well-being of many Americans.
The survey's findings align with recent reports tying social determinants of health to declining life expectancy rates in the U.S. and to research showing the connection between poverty and relatively high rates of healthcare spending in the U.S. compared to other developed nations.
Cracks in the Physician/Hospital Relationship.
The wide-ranging survey also asked physicians about their morale, practice metrics, practice plans and how they feel about the physician/hospital relationship. Over 57% of physicians nationally said they do not believe that the employment of physicians by hospitals is likely to enhance quality of care or decrease costs. For Indiana physicians, the number also was considerably higher at 68%.
Over 46% of physicians nationally described the physician/hospital relationship as somewhat or mostly negative. For Indiana physicians, the number was higher at 53%. These findings underscore the fact that physician/hospital alignment cannot always be achieved merely by employing physicians. More communication and cooperation may be necessary before this key relationship can be considered truly symbiotic (for more information on this topic see the Merritt Hawkins' white paper Ten Keys to Enhancing Physician/Hospital Relations and Reducing Physician Burnout and Turnover).
At Capacity or Overextended
When asked to describe their practices, over 79% of physicians nationally said they are either at capacity or are overextended and therefore unable to see more patients or take on more duties. For Indiana physicians, the number also was 78%. Close to 62% of physicians nationally described their professional morale as somewhat or mostly negative. For Indiana physicians, the number was lower at 55%, a favorable metric compared to national averages but still a cause for concern.
The survey includes many other data points derived from dozens of questions that reveal the average number of hours physicians work, the average number of patients they see, what changes they plan to make in theirs practices and a variety of other topics. Results of the survey broken out by all physicians and by Indiana physicians are available to MHA members by contacting Ben Jones, Merritt Hawkins' Regional Vice President of Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kurt Mosley is Vice President of Strategic Alliances for Merritt Hawkins, the nation's leading physician search firm and an Endorsed Business Partner of the Indiana Hospital Association. He can be reached at email@example.com.
New 2018 Physicians Foundation Survey Released
Every other year, Merritt Hawkins, Endorsed Business Partner of the Indiana Hospital Association, is proud to conduct one of the largest, most comprehensive physician surveys undertaken in the United States. Completed on behalf of The Physicians Foundation (www.physiciansfoundation.org) A Survey of America's Physicians: Practice Patterns and Perspectives offers invaluable insights into the practice patterns, practice plans, morale levels and perspectives of today's doctors. It is a key resource for anyone who recruits physicians, works with physicians or is impacted by who physicians are and what they do. Provided is an infographic featuring a few key findings from the survey – including the sobering number of physicians who indicate that their patients face a social condition such as poverty that poses a serious impediment to their health. Please contact Ben Jones, regional vice president at either 469-524-1652 or Benjamin.Jones@MerrittHawkins.com if you would like a complete copy of the survey report. Indiana specific responses are also available.
Merritt Hawkins Survey of Physician Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue
In this periodic survey of hospital chief financial officers, Merritt Hawkins tracks the average net inpatient and outpatient revenue physicians in 18 specialties generate each year on behalf of their affiliated hospitals. The survey report includes a cost benefits analysis showing revenue generated by physicians for hospitals versus the average salaries paid to physicians. The survey generates both national media interest and is highly anticipated by hospital administrators, physician recruiters, policy makers and others tracking the impact of physicians on hospital revenues.
2018 Merritt Hawkins Recruiting Incentives Report
As you may know, each year Merritt Hawkins completes its Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives. This 54-page document takes a deep dive into the starting salaries, signing bonuses and other incentives commonly used to recruit physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in today’s evolving healthcare market. Now in its 25th year, the Review has become a bench-marking source used by hospitals, medical groups, academics, policy makers, journalists, and others to determine which physician recruiting incentives are customary and competitive, as well as to track trends in physician supply, demand, and recruiting. Provided are a list of Key Findings from the Review, as well as an infographic, listing some physician starting salary data from the review. We hope you find this information to be useful.
Merritt Hawkins Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents
Conducted every other year, this survey captures the career preferences and the prevailing mindset of physicians about to complete their residency training. The survey provides insights that may be helpful to hospitals or other organizations interested in recruiting physicians about to enter the medical profession and reflects the interest and concerns of young physicians today.
The Economic Impact of Physicians
Physicians undoubtedly make a vital impact on the quality of care available in the communities they serve, but what is their economic impact? Merritt Hawkins, Endorsed Business Partner of the Indiana Hospital Association, addresses this question in its white paper entitled The Economic Impact of Physicians. An updated version of the white paper an updated version of the white paper is now available. This new version includes numbers from the AMA’s recently released report which shows that the economic contributions physicians make have grown significantly over the last several years. For example, based on the most recent data, office-based physicians generate $3.1 million on average in economic output, up from $2.2 million based on previous data. The information included in this white paper may prove to be useful as you calculate the costs/benefits of physician recruiting.
The Cost of a Physician Vacancy
What is the “opportunity cost” for hospitals, medical groups and other healthcare facilities when a medical staff position goes unfilled? Using data derived from Merritt Hawkins’ Physicians Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue Survey, this white paper answers that question, detailing the financial and operational impact of physician vacancies.
Demonstrating Community Need for Physicians
How many physicians does a community need? There is no quick answer to this question, which varies depending on the demographics, economics, and medical practice patterns of each community. This white paper explains the methods used to demonstrate community need for physicians in various specialties, including but also going beyond physician-to-population ratios.
Rural Physician Recruiting Challenges and Solutions
There are now well over 6,000 federally designated Healthcare Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in the United States, many of them in rural communities. Rural hospitals, community health centers, and other facilities continue to face steep challenges when it comes to identifying and recruiting physicians who are amenable to rural medical practice. This white paper offers a series of recommendations and best practices rural facilities can implement to enhance their physician recruiting success.
Psychiatry: “The Silent Shortage”
The shortage of psychiatrists and mental health coverage goes largely unnoticed, and is therefore referred to as a “silent shortage”. In this white paper, Merritt Hawkins outlines the growing gap between supply of psychiatrists and the need for increased mental health care.
Physician Generated Revenue Chart
Using data from its Survey of Physician Inpatient/Outpatient Revenue, Merritt Hawkins has developed a chart that indicates the amount of revenue physicians in various specialties generate on behalf of their affiliated hospitals pro-rated by month, from one month to 36 months. The chart allows hospital executives to quickly determine how much revenue is potentially lost when an orthopedic surgeon, cardiologist, family medicine doctor, or other type of medical staff position remains open for a given period of time. Contact Ben Jones for the most current physician generated revenue data.
Additional Thought Leadership Resources
In addition to providing physician search and consulting services, Merritt Hawkins, an Endorsed Business Partner of the IHA, generates data and analyses that have become standard benchmarks and reference points for health care professionals throughout the county. These resources are developed both in order to provide Merritt Hawkins associates with the information they need to be effective in the market place, and to help inform fellow health care professionals regarding trends in the health care staffing market. Third parties such as federal government entities, non-profit groups, and universities now retain Merritt Hawkins to conduct thought leadership projects on their behalf. Referenced in media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Fortune, Forbes, and many others, this information is derived from various surveys, white papers, educational programs, articles, and other sources, which are reviewed here.
If you have questions about these resources, or would like to discuss your physician recruiting needs, email Ben Jones or call 469-524-1652.