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    Physicians Look to Achieve Work-Life Balance

    Steve Orlick, RVP Healthcare

    Ranks Highest as 2017 New Year’s Resolution

    In early December, Toluna surveyed physicians in their Curizon Healthcare Panel about their New Year’s Resolutions, goals and challenges for 2017.

    We recently conducted a survey amongst 500 physicians from Toluna’s Healthcare panel. Respondents spanned a variety of specialties, and were asked about their New Year’s resolutions.

    Of those surveyed that reported making New Year’s Resolutions, 87% of respondents ranked ‘achieving work-life balance’ this as their most, or second most-important resolution. Similarly, 69% ranked ‘staying current with technology,’ and 58% ranked ‘taking advantage of more leadership and training opportunities,’ as their most, or second most-important resolution.

    The survey also found that many physicians are concerned about Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), a new program that started on January 1st of 2017.  The MIPS program will determine Medicare payment adjustments based on a performance score determining whether physicians receive a payment bonus, penalty or no adjustment to pay. Declining reimbursements from insurance companies are increasing pressures on physicians to see more patients to maintain income-levels.

    Many physicians surveyed said they are concerned about their ability to continue to deliver high-quality care as they balance their time as with an increasing number of patients there are increases in paperwork and electronic documentation.  According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, for every hour spent with patients, physicians spend 2 hours on electronic health records (EHR) and desk work.

    Another top concern mentioned was adapting to any changes that President Trump will make, especially to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

    Though changes are anticipated, 83% of the physicians surveyed said they believe the Affordable Care Act should be completely replaced.  Of those that believe it should be replaced, 35% said it should be replaced with a federally funded program that provides healthcare for all Americans and 48% said it should be replaced with something other than a federally funded program.  11% said there should be no changes, and 6% were undecided, thought there should be a few minor changes or had other ideas.

    Physicians want to keep up with increasing demands from their patients, new technology, and government regulations.  Further, many are experiencing and increase in workload with a decline in income.  Burnout is a concern, hence the focus on achieving work-life balance.