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Reports From the Field: Physicians report frustration with managed care red tape
Sixty percent of physicians responding to a survey by the Pennsylvania Medical Society expressed frustration with eroding patient-doctor relationships and blame lack of time
for the problem.
The survey of 330 physicians revealed that they spend an average of 12 minutes with each patient and 40% say they spend less time with their patients than when they first started practicing medicine.
Many of the physicians blame HMOs and managed care for the lack of time they have to spend with their patients. They cite economic pressures caused by declining reimbursements as the reason more patient visits must be crammed into their office hours.
More than 80% of the physicians reported that they aren’t fully reimbursed by insurance companies, leaving them with less revenue to attract and keep employees and buy the latest medical equipment.
"Having to generate more money due to decreased reimbursements by the insurance company is the primary cause of decreased patient time," wrote one physician who reported that one insurance company decreased reimbursement by 8% and his medical liability rates went up $100,000 a year.
Physicians also cited managed care red tape, such as increased documentation requirements, as a cause of decreased time they spent with patients.
Despite the frustrations, 67% of physicians surveyed said they would become doctors all over again. They cited the change to help people and gratifying relationships with patients ahead of money or prestige as the reason to become a physician.