Direct Primary Care: Saving Doctors From Burnout

120821080406-stressed-doctor-story-top

There is, in fact, an answer to the unsolvable healthcare equation.

“If you take out the government, and you take out the insurance, boop! It’s solved,” says Dr. Doug Farrago. Farrago, a “recovering hospital-employed physician”, was one of many speakers to address an audience of 250 doctors at a Direct Primary Care (DPC) conference that was recently held in Orlando, Florida.

Now a DPC physician, Farrago practices apart from big medicine. He no longer works for hospitals or for insurance companies. He works directly for his patients, offering them all of their primary care in exchange for a $75 monthly fee. Because his patient panel is smaller compared to the going average of 2,300 per physician, he can devote more time and attention to their individual health needs.

I’ve written a lot about the benefits DPC offers to patients, but not enough on how it’s a way to save doctors from burnout.

A major cause of burnout is “bureaucratic drag” – a toxic amalgamation of administrative demands that erodes the physician-patient relationship. It’s time spent on getting approval from insurance companies to prescribe medications or request an MRI. It’s time wasted by physicians proving to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that their government-certified electronic health record (EHR) is effectively tracking patient care. It’s frustrated clinics waiting to receive either a bonus or “negative payment adjustment” on quality metrics submitted to Medicare. It’s the pressure to see more patients in less time.

A traditional physician’s workday is now evenly split between actual patient care and work outside of the exam room, reports a Health Affairs study. This is one of the reasons why nine out of ten physicians do not recommend others pursue medicine. Almost one in two experience exhaustion, cynicism, or hopelessness.

Read the full article at Forbes.

Check out how DPC doctors are beating burnout and being the doctors they set out to be.

1 Comment

  1. Sheila Heil

    What happens with hospitalization, is a medical policy needed for that

Leave a Reply