The PMD Critical List: ACA Plans Offer Paltry Provider Networks

A new survey finds consumers who buy healthcare on government exchanges end up with smaller provider networks. That story tops this week's PMD Critical List. Also making the list: A defense of doctors taking pharmaceutical money, and a look at a doctors' strike in Russia (where physicians earn a shockingly low wage).

A new survey finds consumers who buy healthcare on government exchanges end up with smaller provider networks. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also making the list: A defense of doctors taking pharmaceutical money, and a look at a doctors’ strike in Russia (where physicians earn a shockingly low wage).

Obamacare Will Reduce Choice of Doctors (Avalere)

A new study finds “that the average provider networks for plans offered on ACA health insurance exchanges include 34% fewer providers than the average commercial plan offered outside the exchange.” Also, 42% fewer cancer and heart doctors to choose from.

5 Things Patients Want Physicians to Know (Medcitynews.com)

A patient advocate checklist on “frustrations” with physician care. Patients are often scared, exhibit useful body language, want “Disneyland” treatment, are mistrustful of lab data, and really know their own bodies.

Moscow Doctors Stop Working (Moscow Times)

Striking Russian doctors (do they seriously earn just $714 a month?) “are now required to see more patients a day, but spend less time on each of them, which often leads to them working overtime, and through lunch and any other breaks.” Small world.

Evaluating Telemedicine Technology: A Physician's Perspective (Forbes)

An insightful assessment from a pioneering physician on what it takes to be a winner as telemedicine becomes increasingly ubiquitous. “In sum, the common requirements are simplicity and a human connection.”

Primary Care, Psychiatry Top Recruiter's List (HealthLeaders)

A new report from physician recruiters Merritt Hawkins shows “specialists are no longer the key to generating healthcare revenues. Now the drivers are team-based healthcare and the chronic care model” which are fueling continued strong demand for PCPs.

Being a “Reflective Doctor” (Medical Xpress)

A new Tufts Medicine School study finds that too much focus on “scientific reasoning and research evidence” can limit effective care. And “the development of professional awareness among physicians is crucial to developing the skill to respond empathetically to patients.”

Physician Burnout: Don’t Ignore It (Boise State Public Radio)

An optimistic radio Q&A with a third-generation physician who suffered from professional burnout. He went from “feeling stress, agitation, lack of interest and loss of empath” to “it’s wonderful, and joyous.” Key point: "Don't make the day about productivity, make it about relationships."

Should Doctors and Drugmakers Keep Their Distance? (NPR.org)

The president of the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa (who’s a doctor) addresses a touchy subject. “It's wrong to simply assume that any doctor funded by or working with a drug company is corrupt.” With public research budgets shrinking, private industry funding allows medical science to move forward.

What Doctors Know About Death That the Rest of Us Don’t (Quartz)

A thoughtful essay by a physician about the grim reaper. “Death has always been inevitable, but once their deaths are imminent, doctors just want to be comfortable and to spend the last days with family. It turns out that this is what most of us want.”