It’s Not Doctor Shortage, it’s an Efficiency Issue.

According to Forbes, “A recently published study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that for every hour physicians were seeing patients, they were spending nearly two additional hours on paperwork.”

Whoa.

Well, we knew traditional docs spent a lot of time on paperwork… but this much?! It gives whole new meaning to one of our favorite catchphrases in support of the Atlas.md EMR: You didn’t go to medical school to fill out paperwork! Let’s break some numbers down, though, because when you look under the surface you’ll find the answer to an even bigger problem.

This Time article from a few years ago indicates that 22% of a docs time is spent on charting, EMR, or insurance matters. That’s the equivalent of 165K full time physicians. One hundred sixty five thousand docs could be seeing patients if they weren’t pushing papers instead. It gets worse. New numbers blow that out of the water. Based on the new Forbes study, we’d have more than 500K full time physicians back and taking care of patients.

Here it is, plain and simple. We don’t have a doctor shortage issue. We have an efficiency issue.

You might be thinking, “man, paperwork sure is a necessary evil.” To which Direct Care would like to challenge you: what if it wasn’t necessary? Don’t be silly; we’re not advocating not charting. But what if you could get that time back by being more efficient with the paperwork you really do have to do? It’s what Direct Care providers across the country already know. They skip the insurance paperwork; patients pay them directly. If they use Atlas.md, they actually like their EMR because it’s intuitive to their workflow and leaves out all the flashing lights and other distractions. Taking it one step further, their phone, email, text and even video call correspondence is automatically logged right in the patient’s chart without them ever having to lift a pen. Nice.

So, when we work more efficiently, we eliminate the time-consuming wasteland of paperwork that used to eat up half our day (literally!) and we find ourselves exactly where we not only need to be, but want to be. With patients.

If you’re wondering where all the doctors have gone, check underneath that giant pile of papers. Then go dig them out, tell them about Direct Care and make their lives and the lives of their patients infinitely better.

Do You Hear The Sound Of American Healthcare Failing? Oh, Right, You’re Not Listening.

Medical Megatrends and the Future of Medicine blogger Dr. Schimpff writes that a lack of listening is the core problem in American healthcare. It’s part of a series of blog posts he’s writing on the crisis in primary care.

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Elephant In The Room — The Projected Primary Care Shortage

Projecting future physician workforce needs is a challenging calculation. You have to consider multiple variables to avoid missing the mark. In the mid-1990s, the American Medical Association confidently predicted that the penetration of managed care would lead to a large “physician surplus” and convinced Congress to cap the number of graduate medical education (GME) positions subsidized by the Medicare program. By the look of things today, that might not have been such a wise move.

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Direct Care Is Business. And Its Business Is Serving Patients.

Last year, the New York Times wrote about Orlene Paxson, a 33-year-old, stay-at-home mom. Living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, she was unable to find an obstetrician that she liked who would accept her insurance. A lot of them weren’t accepting new patients, and one doctor who came highly recommended didn’t return her call for five days and didn’t want to see her until 12 weeks into the pregnancy. This was Mrs. Paxson’s first time being pregnant. She didn’t want to wait. Her policy didn’t cover any out-of-network services, but she and her husband went the cash-only route and paid the entire fee themselves — $13,000.

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STREAM: Concierge Medicine vs. Direct Care

We found this podcast from KPCC in Southern California and thought it was worth sharing with you. But not for the usual reasons. This episode takes a critical look at concierge medicine, asking, “Is concierge medicine pushing the nation’s doctor shortage over the brink? As the practice gets more affordable, is this a way for the uninsured to still get care? Is direct a la carte pricing a better way to bill patients for medical care?”

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AAFP Releases Detailed Projection Of Primary Care Physician Shortage

The AAFP reported on a recent study outlining the projected family doctor shortage that is facing our nation. According to the organization, “The projections rely on a combination of factors to gauge current and future workforce needs on a state-by-state basis, focusing heavily on increased patient demand that is likely to result from an aging population, overall population growth and coverage expansions due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

The projections are very specific. For example, according to the projection for Arizona, the state demands an additional 1,941 primary care physicians by 2030. This is 150 percent of the current number of doctors. According to the research, 1,466 primary care physicians are needed because of population growth, 360 because of increased utilization, and 115 because of insurance expansions that occur as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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The Doctors Have Left The Building…

READ THE ORIGINAL MY9 NEW JERSEY REPORT

The network My9NJ reported from Neptune, New Jersey and said, “New Jersey is experiencing a shortage of doctors.” It’s no mild shortage, either. It’s projected that by 2020 the state will be short about 3,000 primary care physicians.

So where are all the doctors?
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Dr. Josh Breaks Down Every Facet Of Direct Care In His Latest Interview

The Objective Standard spoke with Dr. Josh and captured a comprehensive, and digestible, overview of direct care. The conversation was conducted and transcribed by journalist Ari Armstrong and is currently available as a PDF file for private use and distribution. We’re excited to share it personally through this week’s Atlas MD newsletter (will be included as an attachment). If you haven’t signed up for our weekly direct care updates, you can do so here (make sure to check the newsletter box). Or, if you like, email hello[at]atlas.md to request your copy of the interview.

The Objective Standard is a quarterly periodical written from an Objectivist perspective (Objectivism being Ayn Rand’s philosophy of reason, egoism, and laissez-faire capitalism). Josh’s interview is slated for Fall publication.

LISTEN: Atlas MD Podcast, Ep. 4

LISTEN: Atlas MD Podcast, Ep. 4

The next installment of the Atlas MD podcast is now available on iTunes. You can stream it here. Drs. Josh and Doug drove out to Kansas City last week where they spoke both at a private clinic, as well as on the campus of a local medical school. Some of the students had visited Atlas MD recently, so it was a chance for them to follow-up with new questions. Doug and Josh were impressed how these MBA and D.O. students were already so attuned to the business aspects of medicine.

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LINKS: Oh No, Everyone’s Worried About Doctor Shortages

First we came across an article in The Atlantic that discussed how doctor shortage could be the result of burnout caused by a lack of training in how to “deal with work pressures.” It was a stretch in our opinion, but we’re keeping an open mind. Unfortunately, we were not mentioned in the article as a force KEEPING doctors from retiring or getting out of practicing medicine altogether. Included within the article were some helpful links to leading publishers writing about doctor shortages. Thanks to the author Maureen Miller for directing us to this premium content.

Sunday Dialogue: Will Training More Doctors Improve Health Care? | The New York Times
One med student is one hundred percent behind insuring more Americans. Still, he asks, what’s the point if you can’t find a doctor. READ MORE

“How some states are addressing doctor shortages” | Yahoo News
An informative article comprised of blurbs about projected doctor requirements, current funding for programs, and other relevant info. It spans more than ten states including California, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, The Dakotas and more. READ MORE