"The problem to summarize it is there is an imparative now for physicians to care for more patients, to provide higher perceived quality at less cost with increased tracking and reporting demands in an environment of high liability and problematic reimbursements," he says.
Physicians report working about 6% less than they did in a 2008 foundation survey. "That doesn't sound like a whole lot until you calculate the full-time equivalent physicians who are lost from the workforce," Walker says.
"If this trend continues that would be 44,250 full-time equivalents lost from the physician workforce over the next four years and there is every reason to think that this will occur."
The survey shows that 52% of physicians have already limited the access of Medicare patients to their practices or are planning to do so and 26% have already closed their practices to Medicaid patients, blaming higher operating costs, time pressures and falling reimbursements.