US physician hours and visits still down 17% in 2012.

Edward Davies
BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 10 October 2012)

Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6863
“Between 2008 and 2012, the average number of hours physicians worked fell from 57 hours a week to 53, and doctors saw 16.6% fewer patients. The research, based on a survey of 13 575 physicians across the US, estimates that if these patterns continue 44 250 full time equivalent (FTE) physicians will be lost from the workforce in the next four years. 

More than half of physicians (52%) have limited the access of Medicare patients to their practices or are planning to do so, while one out of four physicians (26%) have already closed their practices altogether to Medicaid patients, the survey shows. Physicians cited rising operating costs, time constraints, and diminishing reimbursement as the primary reasons why they are unable to accept additional Medicare and Medicaid patients.”

The survey was fielded online from late March to early June 2012 by Merritt Hawkins for the Physicians Foundation


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