Too Much Health Care? Primary Care Physicians Views

A recent Archives of Internal Medicine study of primary care physicians noted:

Forty-two percent of US primary care physicians believe that patients in their own practice are receiving too much care; only 6% said they were receiving too little. The most important factors physicians identified as leading them to practice more aggressively were malpractice concerns (76%), clinical performance measures (52%), and inadequate time to spend with patients (40%). Physicians also believe that financial incentives encourage aggressive practice: 62% said diagnostic testing would be reduced if it did not generate revenue for medical subspecialists (39% for primary care physicians).

It was also noted in a Reuter’s piece about the Archives article that:

Four in 10 also believed that other primary care physicians would order fewer tests if those tests didn’t provide extra income. (Of course, just three percent thought that financial considerations influenced their own practice style.)

“I’m not saying that physicians do tests in order to make money — there is a potential to be a real cynic here — but I think that the reimbursement model for most healthcare encourages utilization in a variety of way,” Sirovich said.

Medicynical Note: It’s not cynical to acknowledge reality.


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