Healthcare burnout is real. Here’s how we can help

Today, more healthcare providers than ever are suffering from burnout due to a combination of factors that include the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 crisis. According to one survey, about 25% of clinicians are considering leaving the healthcare field entirely, and another found that 36% of physicians are considering early retirement.

A 2021 study by the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the US could be short of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034. Healthcare systems and health insurance companies are taking action to address this crisis and support the clinicians who care for patients.

increase in workforce

New policies and incentives to expand the pool of qualified providers are one way the industry is trying to relieve overworked clinicians. For example, LA Care has provided $8 million to pay medical school loans to help qualified students train as providers.

To build a more diverse workforce capable of promoting equity in healthcare, Blue Shield of California is investing $7 million to establish a new scholarship program at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health to support graduate students from underrepresented communities.

Growing telemedicine

In March 2022, UPMC launched a “Tele-ED” that allows patients to receive care locally in close consultation with qualified emergency physicians at another location. The expansion of telemedicine makes it easier for patients to access care and allows physicians to provide more efficient patient care. Clinicians in rural and underserved communities are challenged to care for the patients who need them. When telemedicine makes it easier and faster for patients and providers to connect for care, clinicians with congested schedules can experience some relief, and patients gain more timely access to care.

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Invest in value-based care

Shifting from a fee-for-service model to one focused on improving patient outcomes, such as B. Accountable Care Organizations, can also relieve the providers. Volume-based care incentivizes providers to do more to treat sick patients. Values-based care increases the focus on advancing preventive services and improving population health—including addressing social factors such as diet, transportation, housing, and other key factors that affect health.

And it works: A 2022 study by Humana and the Medical Group Management Association found that 67% of primary care practice managers surveyed said that value-based principles improve the quality of care for their patients. AHIP recently found that in 2021, on average, nearly half (40%) of U.S. healthcare payments will flow through these types of advanced payment models that reduce the burden on physicians and provide better care to patients.

The past few years have challenged our healthcare system and put enormous pressure on frontline clinicians. We can unburden healthcare providers by nurturing the development of future clinicians, supporting those caring for patients today, and strengthening our system overall. A stronger healthcare system serves patients and doctors alike better.

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