The PMD Critical List: Report Claims Obamacare Isn't Curbing Physician Income

A new study finds physician pay continues to increase despite the uncertainty and new regulatory infrastructure brought on by the Affordable Care Act. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also making the list: Are men really too busy to go to the doctor?

A new study finds physician pay continues to increase despite the uncertainty and new regulatory infrastructure brought on by the Affordable Care Act. That story tops this week’s PMD Critical List. Also making the list: Are men really too busy to go to the doctor?

Obamacare Isn't Stopping Doctors' Incomes from Soaring (Fortune)

“That’s the conclusion of a comprehensive study just released by Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician recruiting firm. America’s physicians have gotten a big, big raise, in the past year—just about their fattest raise in recent history.” On average, family doctors got a $27,000 raise in the past year and internal medicine and pediatric docs each garnered 15% bumps.

Requiring Doctors to Report Medical-Device Hazards (The Wall Street Journal)

Physicians would be required to report potentially serious problems with medical devices they use to the FDA under legislation now before Congress. Currently, hospitals and device manufacturers must report deaths and serious injuries linked to medical devices to the agency’s database of adverse events; doctors don’t have to report.

Why Do Most Men Avoid Doctor Visits (Science Daily)

A survey by Orlando Health found that the top excuse men make to avoid scheduling annual appointments with their primary care physician, is that they are too busy. The number two male excuse was fear of finding out something might be wrong with them.

Must We Watch Doctors Wash Their Hands? (ABC News)

A new study presented at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology finds that hand hygiene compliance at a California medical center differed dramatically when physicians knew they were being evaluated, versus when they did not.

White Male Doctors Earn More than Women and Black Peers (NBC News)

According to a study in the British Medical Journal, white male doctors earned on average $253,042 a year compared to $188,230 for black male doctors. Female doctors earned less than both groups—$163,234 for white female doctors and $152,784 for black female doctors. A Harvard Medical School professor calls the findings “deeply concerning.”

Flaws in New Physician Salary Report (The Washington Post)

“A provocative new study of physician pay in BMJ reveals a seemingly alarming racial disparity: a large salary gap between white male doctors and everyone else. However, a significant part of the data the finding depends on didn't identify whether the doctors were primary care doctors or specialists.”

Primary Care Docs Top Specialists in Pay Increase (Health Leaders Media)

This week saw a flurry of new surveys on physician compensation: primary care physician compensation rose at a faster rate last year than did specialist pay, according the Medical Group Management Association's 2015 Physician Compensation and Production Survey. Median PCP pay rose by over 4% to over $250,000; specialist pay grew by over 3% to about $425,000.

Physicians Struggle to Understand “Value & Quality” Goals (Becker’s Hospital Report)

A new Decision Resources Group study found that 43% of physicians struggle to keep a balance between constantly evolving healthcare systems and health technologies, including EHRs and pharmaceutical websites. Can’t understand “cost per patient, patient outcomes and hospital readmissions” performance goals.

15% of Doctors are Drug Addicts ... Including Me (Los Angeles Times)

A powerful essay from a Boston doctor and Harvard Medical School instructor who was addicted to prescription opiates. “It wasn’t until the state police and the DEA were sitting in my primary care office that I finally stopped denying that I was hopelessly addicted.” A doctor slips into the clutches of addiction and rarely seeks help.

Hospitals Need CANDOR on Medical Errors (Insurance Journal)

A report on the new medical error prevention approach by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality aimed at preventing malpractice litigation while encouraging more robust scrutiny of what went wrong. It’s called Communication and Optimal Resolution, or Candor for short.