My impression is that doctors are leaving the Olympic Peninsula like rats off a sinking ship.
This is reinforced in the last week by four calls in one day from patients from Clallam County. Now, there is a really big clinic much closer to them. I said this to one of the callers.
"They aren't taking new patients." she says.
I don't believe her. I call the really big clinic. "We are currently not taking new patients." says the receptionist. "We might reopen for new patients in January."
I leave a message for a doctor that I know there. He calls back. "We've had some providers leave, so we've had to spread the patients out. We have three buprenorphine providers, but we are working our way through a wait list." It's not just buprenorphine patients. They are not taking ANY new patients.
Ok. We ramp up and get the folks in. The only other people who take insurance in my county are the hospital clinics: they are refusing to take Clallam County patients. Great. They can drive through Jefferson County to Kitsap... or use the ER and the Urgent Care... until the insurance goes away with the new administration.
My receptionist gets another veteran call. She bemoans to the triwest caller that the doctors are leaving the peninsula.
"Not just there." says the triwest caller. "The whole pacific coast. Doctors are leaving."
I am trying to choose my continuing medical education for next year. I was thinking about the Scripp's Conference on alternative medicine. Or the adult medicine course in Portland. But at this rate I should go take the trauma/intubation/emergency crash course and brush up on my surgery skills.
http://www.ibtimes.com/venezuelas-medical-exodus-result-its-contracting-economy-spurs-fears-national-health-1885490 Can't happen in the US, right? We can just pay them more, right?
I don't think so. I think at a certain point money can't fix burn out. Money can't balance watching patients suffer and die because they don't have insurance or the insurance won't cover the treatment. We have patients that die even WITH the best treatment. Add more patients dying because they are not getting treated: screw this. Money can't fix ICD-10. Money can't fix a suffering heart.
http://www.wnd.com/2015/11/mass-exodus-u-s-doctors-fleeing-medicine/This article blames the government. I disagree. There is massive paperwork for EVERY insurance company... and medicare and medicaid and triwest and disability and Blue Cross and they ALL have massive paperwork and the ALL change their rules all the time and do you have time to do passwords and learn to navigate 500+ different insurance websites to get prior authorizations? Are you looking forward to paying an employee to do that?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2015/06/02/why-doctors-really-quit/#2e86d78b28f7 This one says it's EMRs. The EMRs suck too, but I can deal with it. In our area it's an EPIC problem, ha, ha.....
State by state: https://www.aamc.org/download/100598/data/
... and grief. The new person comes in and is grieving because their doctor left/is leaving... I am tired of grief...