Excess health care spending up for PCP turnover in the U.S.
Turnover of primary care physicians (PCPs) is costly, resulting in about $979 million in excess health care expenditures per year, and a considerable proportion of this spending is attributable to PCP burnout-related turnover, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Christine A. Sinsky, M.D., from the American Medical Association in Chicago, and colleagues estimated excess health care expenditures attributable to overall and burnout-specific PCP turnover. To estimate excess expenditures attributable to PCP turnover due to burnout, data relating to burnout and intention to leave one’s current practice within two years were obtained from a cross-sectional survey of U.S. physicians conducted between Oct. 12, 2017, and March 15, 2018.
The researchers found that for public and private payers, PCP turnover resulted in about $979 million in excess health care expenditures each year. PCP burnout-related turnover accounted for $260 million.
“Turnover of primary care physicians is costly to public and private payers, yet there is an opportunity to decrease unnecessary health care expenditures by reducing burnout-related turnover,” Sinsky said in a statement. “Physician burnout is preventable and payers, health care organizations, and others have a vested interest in making meaningful changes to reduce physician burnout.”
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