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Young Doctors Spend 13% More Than Older Physicians

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, November 8, 2012

Mehrotra says that the study is significant because previous studies on the relationship between practice patterns and physician experience are mixed. Several studies have found lower rates of diagnostic testing among more experienced physicians, but other studies have found the opposite relationship between experience and services, such as electrocardiograms, Mehrotra says.

"Although winners and losers are inevitable in any cost profiling effort, physicians with less experience are likely to be negatively affected by policies that use cost profiles unless they change their practice patterns," Mehrotra wrote.

He says that physician-training programs should focus more attention on cost-efficiencies. "Postgraduate training programs and specialty boards need to educate physicians on their responsibility to be good stewards of healthcare resources."

"It is conceivable that as they gain more experience these same physicians may develop less costly practice patterns," he adds.  One of the ways they can do that is through multi-disciplinary approaches that many hospital systems are embarking on—true partnerships focusing on quality and efficiency, Mehrotra told me.

Like this week's elections, he adds, "winners and losers" are inevitable in any cost profiling effort. And, coordinated care is needed among young and older physicians because, for one thing, healthcare reform is well on its way, with Romney's vision of it being erased, gone with his defeat.


Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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2 comments on "Young Doctors Spend 13% More Than Older Physicians"


Herb Ruhs, MD (11/8/2012 at 2:13 PM)
This article sets a new standard for stupidity. I am used to this site having no shame, but this one is a duzzy. I was a teacher in training programs for these new physicians. They have been trained to waste money. Older physicians are finding it more and more difficult to find work in part because they were not trained this way and threaten corporate plans and profits. The author really ought to consider a new line of work. Unless of course it is deliberately misleading to help distract people from the fact of corporate destruction of medicine in the US, in which case his employers are likely pleased.

tyber mayro (11/8/2012 at 2:13 PM)
Hilarious to hear the disgruntled physicians are ready to quit if Obama won. Quit and do what exactly? Sure they are unhappy about reimbursement, but current levels of payment are completely unsustainable no matter who was President. Did they notice that Romney himself didn't actually have a health plan to replace Obamacare with? Why? Even he knew there had to be giant cuts. The point of American healthcare is to get care to as many people as possible[INVALID]to be sustain physician salaries at all costs.