US health care system charged with hefty physician burnout costs, study highlights

Updated: May 28, 2019, 20:35 IST | ANI

A study was published in the journal the total cost involved in physician burnout, creating an economic burden by costing approximately $4.6 billion a year.

US health care system charged with hefty physician burnout costs, study highlights
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Washington: A recent study highlights the total cost involved in physician burnout, creating an economic burden by costing approximately $4.6 billion a year. The study was published in the journal, 'Annals of Internal Medicine'.

Physician burnout is a long-term stress reaction characterized by depersonalization, including cynical or negative attitudes toward patients, emotional exhaustion and any more.

It is a significant issue that has the potential to dramatically increase the cost of care to both patients and the health care delivery system. It is associated with the poorer overall quality of patient care, lower patient satisfaction, and malpractice lawsuits, all of which have an economic impact.

Despite the recent studies, only a few have attempted to quantify the economic magnitude of burnout in the form of easily understandable metrics. Without data, policymakers cannot holistically assess or address the issue.

A research team developed a mathematical model using contemporary published research findings and industry reports to estimate burnout-associated costs related to physician turnover and reduced clinical hours at national and organizational levels.

They found that on a national scale, physician burnout accounted for approximately $4.6 billion, or about $7,600 per employed physician per year. According to the researchers, these findings suggest that there may be substantial economic value for policy and organizational expenditures directed at reducing physician burnout.

The researchers believe that this research is much-needed because practicing medicine is harder than ever.

As many as half of Americans with chronic illness do not take their medications as prescribed and, on average, patients remember about half of the information conveyed during an office visit.

Researchers from a university in Washington surveyed more than 29,000 patients and found that many patients at all three survey sites reported that note reading helped them understand why a medication was prescribed, answered their questions, and made them feel more comfortable and in control of their medications. Very few of the respondents reported that notes made them feel worried or confused about their medications.

According to the researchers, the findings are reassuring, as the patients showed no adverse effects of sharing clinical records with patients.

Nearly 15 million older Americans with disability live in the community and the availability and adequacy of support with daily activities have an extreme effect on their participation in valued activities, quality of life, and health.

While older adults with a disability are heavy users of services and incur high health care spending, it is not known how the adequacy of support may affect Medicare spending.

The researchers claimed that they derived data from interviews with more than 3,700 community-living older adults with a disability. The goal was to quantify differences in total Medicare spending by participants who experienced negative consequences due to inadequate support or care.

The researchers found that the participants with a disability incurred Medicare spending that was more than twice as high as among those without a disability. More than 1 in 5 older adults with mobility or self-care disability reported negative consequences due to no one being available to help and median per-person Medicare spending among those adults was significantly higher than for those who did not experience negative consequences.

According to the researchers, these findings suggest that the beneficial effects of comprehensive community-based long-term services and supports may extend beyond improved health, well-being and participation to reduced spending on health services. They propose greater use of strategies that target both health and function.

A panel of experts conducted a systematic review and analyses of randomized controlled trials that examined cardiovascular outcomes. An independent panel systematically reviewed the trial evidence about the benefits and risks of adding non-statin medications to statin therapy to figure out the actual problem.

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