Half doctors are so fed up with insurance companies they are ready to QUIT medicine – and 66% would advise young people to pick another job
- A recent nonprofit study found that 48 percent of doctors are considering leaving medicine because they are sick of dealing with insurers
- Previous research found that doctors spend about half of their work hours doing paper work – and just 27 percent on seeing patients
- Doctors blame insurance companies for wasting their time and delaying treatment for patients
- The situation is so dire that two third discourage others from medical school
Insurance issues have nearly half of doctors so frustrated and fed up that they’re considering abandoning practice for a new career path, a recent survey found.
And the vast majority – about two thirds – would advise the next generation to steer clear of medicine.
The number one priority that Americans – both Democrats and Republicans – want Congress to tackle is lowering the price of drugs.
American patients are exhausted and frustrated with the state of healthcare and coverage in the US – and so are their doctors, a new study from nonprofit healthcare advocacy group Aimed Alliance reveals.
Doctors are burnt out and frustrated by the drudgery of insurance paper work that half say they have considered switching careers, and would discourage others from the medical field
Exam rooms, operating rooms, squinting at X-rays, running to put out the latest medical fire – these are the scenes most of us associate with the medical profession.
But what doesn’t make the cut for hospital dramas are the hours of paperwork and drudgery that doctors and patients alike have to wade through.
And even completing all of that draining work often just leaves doctors more frustrated, as much of that paperwork pertains to red-tape insurance policies, making it a never-ending game of hurry and wait.
Regulations that are purportedly in place to keep patients safe are actually causing patients’ conditions to worsen as they wait, according to 87 percent of the 600 American doctors that Aimed Alliance surveyed.
In particular 83 percent of the doctors believed their patients wind up suffering in pain for longer.
Doctors pinpointed the prior authorization stipulation as especially pernicious.
If a doctor wants to prescribe certain medications, many insurers have policies that say they must pre-approve the drug as ‘medically necessary’ before a patient can fill the prescription.
Theoretically, these policies are in place to protect patients from being taken advantage of and charged for drugs they don’t need, or for more expensive brand name forms.
But to the minds of 91 percent of the doctors, the so-called prior authorization requirement simply gets in the way and causes frustrating delays in treatment.
Just as many doctors, however, said that insurers sometimes employ ‘non-medical switching’ in which they don’t approve the prescribed medication and instead force patients to take cheaper drugs.
The doctors worry that these medicines may be less effective, but the practice does save patients money.
However, if you broke down what patients pay their doctors for based on what physicians spend their time on, most of that money would be funding paper work.
Doctors generally took umbridge at the authority of insurers to question and even alter their judgments and prescriptions.
Abut 55 percent said that this was the first and foremost thing they would like to change about the dynamic between physicians and insurance companies.
Nearly 90 percent said that, as it stands now, this back-and-forth keeps them from giving patients the person-specific treatment they would like to.
A 2016 study followed 60 doctors for 430 hours and found that doctors spent 27 percent of their time with patients – but a whopping 49 percent of their day-to-day hours on paper work, including filling out information for insurers.
All that filling out and filing is such a burden that 77 percent of doctors surveyed by Aimed Alliance said they had had to hire extra office staff to help them get through it all.
For 85 percent of the doctors, the stress of dealing with all of that had become so over-whelming at times that they took it out on their staff or people in their personal lives.
In short, though the interplay between doctors and insurers is there partly to protect patients, the tension between the two is reaching a fever pitch, and the sickest people may be the ones who suffer the worst consequences, the survey suggests.