by Sheri Sorrell and Keith Jennings, June 17, 2014
Each year, Jackson Healthcare studies trends impacting physicians' careers and medical practices.
We hope this information helps physicians make more informed, strategic decisions in their career and practice. And we hope these statistics help healthcare executives, industry thought leaders and media professionals better understand the attitudes, challenges and opportunities physicians face.
There were a number of statistically significant (and interesting) findings in our 2014 study.
In this piece, we highlight 51 statistics that emerged from our look at physicians reporting compensation increases (12 percent of participants) versus those reporting a decrease in compensation (45 percent of participants) from 2013 to 2014.
We will not look at trends related to the 43 percent who reported no change in income.
1. Be age 45+ (85 percent of those whose income has decreased vs. 72 percent of those whose income has increased)
2. Own / retain an ownership stake in a single specialty practice (23 percent vs. 11 percent)
3. Internal medicine subspecialists (21 percent vs. 12 percent)
4. Anesthesiologists (8 percent vs. 1 percent)
5. Say billing and collections from insurance companies over the last year has been more difficult (62 percent vs. 38 percent)
6. Say billing and collections from patients over the last year has been more difficult (61 percent vs. 34 percent)
7. Say billing and collections from Medicare over the last year has been more difficult (50 percent vs. 30 percent)
8. Say billing and collections from Medicaid over the last year has been more difficult (47 percent vs. 29 percent)
9. Say their patients are delaying services, procedures, electives, etc. (77 percent vs. 49 percent)
10. Say their patients have become more cost-conscious over the last year (73 percent vs. 59 percent)
11. Say their patients are doing more cost-comparative shopping for medical services (54 percent vs. 39 percent)
12. Say they will not remain in private practice because the overhead costs are too high (76 percent vs. 0 percent)
13. Say they do not have partnerships with insurers, hospitals and local companies to provide care to their patients and the community (69 percent vs. 59 percent)
14. Say they are unlikely to encourage a young person to enter the field (61 percent vs. 31 percent)
15. Say they do not use Advanced Practice Professionals (48 percent vs. 37 percent)
16. Say they are dissatisfied with the practice of medicine (43 percent vs. 12 percent)
17. Say they schedule less surgical procedures on a surgery day this year vs. last (40 percent vs. 10 percent)
18. Say the outlook for a career in medicine in 2014 is generally negative (40 percent vs. 14 percent)
19. Say the number of patients they see in an office day has decreased (39 percent)
20. Say they are strongly considering leaving the practice of medicine or retiring (14 percent vs. 4 percent)
21. Say they have made the decision to practice medicine part-time or on assignment. Slowing down, not completely leaving (11 percent vs. 4 percent)
22. Say they are not accepting new Medicare patients because of low / declining reimbursements (73 percent vs. 31 percent)
23. Have a higher percentage of Medicare patients in their practice (31 percent of their practice make-up vs. 25 percent)
24. Say they have lost patients who have lost their insurance or had their policies canceled as the ACA has been implemented (35 percent vs. 13 percent)
25. Say they are not planning to participate as providers on the health insurance exchanges (27 percent vs. 19 percent)
26. Say they've lost patients as the ACA has been implemented because they no longer accept their insurance (21 percent vs. 9 percent)
27. Be younger than 45 (28 percent of those who say their income has increased vs. 15 percent of those who say it has decreased)
28. Specialize in behavioral health (13 percent vs. 4 percent)
29. Specialize in hospital based medicine (10 percent vs. 5 percent)
30. Say billing and collections from Medicaid does not apply to their practice (40 percent vs. 29 percent)
31. Say billing and collections from Medicare does not apply to their practice (39 percent vs. 21 percent)
32. Say billing and collections from insurance companies does not apply to their practice (28 percent vs. 12 percent)
33. Say billing and collections from patients does not apply to their practice (26 percent vs. 12 percent)
34. Say their patients have not been doing more cost-comparative shopping (62 percent vs. 46 percent)
35. Say their patients have not been delaying services, procedures, electives (51 percent vs. 24 percent)
36. Say their patients have not become more cost-conscious over the past year (41 percent vs. 27 percent)
37. Say they will definitely be practicing medicine in 2014 (91 percent vs. 74 percent)
38. Say the outlook for a career in medicine in 2014 is generally favorable (45 percent vs. 14 percent)
39. Say they are very satisfied with their careers in medicine (45 percent vs. 16 percent)
40. Say the number of patients they see in an office visit during the past year has increased (43 percent vs. 20 percent)
41. Say they chose hospital employment over private practice because they wanted to be doctors, not business people (41 percent vs. 17 percent)
42. Say they use nurse practitioners (41 percent vs. 31 percent)
43. Say they have partnerships in place with insurers, hospitals and local companies to provide care to their patients (41 percent vs. 32 percent)
44. Say they use physician assistants (40 percent vs. 28 percent)
45. Say they are very likely to recommend a career in the field to a young person (35 percent vs. 11 percent)
46. Say they see/care for/round on more patients in a single hospital shift (33 percent vs. 17 percent)
47. Say they work 8 hours a day (26 percent vs. 16 percent)
48. Be a hospital employee (26 percent vs. 12 percent)
49. Say they use foreign medical graduates (16 percent vs. 6 percent)
50. Say they are planning to participate as a provider in the health insurance exchanges (59 percent vs. 49 percent)
51. Say that as the ACA has been implemented that they have added patients who have obtained insurance through the exchanges (26 percent vs. 16 percent) or to say they have had had no changes to their patient panels (59 percent vs. 45 percent)
While this list contains some obvious statistics (naturally physicians with increasing income are more likely to be satisfied with their careers than those whose income is decreasing) it also contains statistics that align with broader trends seen in other Jackson Healthcare and industry research.
With the shift from private practice ownership to employment continuing throughout the U.S., the impacts of decreasing reimbursements, billing & collection hassles and lifestyle choices are apparent throughout these 51 statistics.
51 Statistics on Satisfied and Dissatisfied Physicians
A total of 1,527 physicians completed this survey, which was conducted between April 18 and June 5, 2014. The error range for this survey was +/- 2.5 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
Invitations for Jackson Healthcare's surveys are emailed to subsets of a database, which include physicians who have been placed by Jackson Healthcare's staffing companies and those who have not.
Respondents to all surveys were self-selected and spanned all 50 states and medical/surgical specialties.
Sheri Sorrell leads Jackson Healthcare's market research efforts. Keith Jennings is the company's marketing and content strategy director.
Click here to email the authors your questions, feedback and requests.