Reclaiming Medicine: The Locum Story of Hospitalist Dr. Brandt

In the Interim: Examining the Best and Worst States for Practicing Physicians; Match Day Trends; Telemedicine Barriers & Factors That Contribute to Burnout

“In the Interim” is a snapshot of the latest and most relevant news in the locum tenens industry. No repeats, less scrolling, more knowledge. Check out the articles we found most interesting for March’s roundup.   

1. A Quarter of Massachusetts Physicians Plan to Leave the Medical Field

According to a recent survey by the Massachusetts Medical Society, one in four physicians in Massachusetts plan to leave the medical field due to burnout, retirement, and other factors.  

The survey findings coincide with Becker’s Hospital Review’s ranking of the best and worst states for physicians in 2023, which placed Massachusetts on the list of worst states for physicians. The ranking considered physician density, average annual wage, malpractice award payouts, and projected job growth.  

Montana, South Dakota, and Idaho topped the list as the best states for physicians, while Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Alaska ranked as the worst. 

(Becker’s Hospital Review, March 3, 2023)     

2. Over 40,000 Land Spots on Match Day. What Are This Year’s Trends?

The 2023 US residency match is a record-breaker! This year, there were 40,375 positions available, a whopping 14.8% increase over the past 5 years, with nearly half of them being for primary care. The fill rate rose by 1%, and we welcomed 481 more international medical graduates. However, we did see 246 fewer US MD seniors registering this year. Plus, 183 more programs participated in the Match. 

(AMA, March 17, 2023)   

3. How to Overcome Telemedicine’s Biggest Obstacles

The article explores how telemedicine can improve patient care, lower costs, and expand access to healthcare services. However, it acknowledges barriers such as regulatory and legal issues, technological challenges, limited access to technology, and physician and patient acceptance.

Solutions such as harmonizing licensing requirements, investing in user-friendly technology, launching educational initiatives, and expanding broadband infrastructure could help overcome these obstacles, enabling telemedicine to improve patient care and expand access to healthcare services.

(KevinMD, March 20, 2023)   

4. New Law Aims to Boost Funding for Mobile Health Clinics

In response to a lack of healthcare services in rural areas, nonprofit organizations have turned to mobile clinics to provide medical and dental care. This approach was sparked by a concerning incident in which two volunteers resorted to using pliers to extract each other’s abscessed teeth due to a shortage of dental care providers. Fortunately, the MOBILE Health Care Act, sponsored by Senators Jacky Rosen and Susan Collins, has facilitated the funding of new mobile clinics, making it easier for rural communities to access much-needed healthcare services. 

(Modern Healthcare, March 20, 2023)   

5. GPT-4 Is Here. How Can Doctors Use Generative AI Now?

OpenAI dropped the hotly anticipated GPT-4, an updated version of its artificial intelligence language model that’s even more powerful than the previous iteration, GPT-3.5.  

The possibilities are endless with this new technology, especially for doctors who can use it as an office assistant to take care of paperwork or as a medical knowledge assistant to get quick lists of symptoms, recommended tests, or diagnoses. With the help of AI chatbots like Bing Chat, physicians can generate concise and well-sourced notes or quickly write letters for patients and spend less time charting. 

(Medpage Today, March 20, 2023)

6. Big Bank Rolls Out AI Claims Predictor for Healthcare Clients

PNC Financial Services, one of the largest banks in the US, recently launched an AI-powered system called PNC Claim Predictor to aid healthcare providers in accurately submitting medical claims to payers.  

The system employs machine learning to predict the claims that payers will likely reject, allowing providers to review, correct, or complete the information before submission. By integrating with electronic medical records, PNC Claim Predictor simplifies the revenue cycle for healthcare clients by integrating with electronic medical records, mitigating the risks of payment denials. The system was developed in response to the persistent challenges with claim submissions. 

(HealthExec, March 21, 2023)   

7. Help Healthcare Staff Shortages by Reducing Factors That Contribute to Burnout 

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) presented potential solutions to the HELP Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to alleviate the healthcare workforce shortage in the US. The proposed measures aim to decrease physician burnout and increase their numbers by addressing issues such as physician payment reform, prior authorization, telehealth, value-based care, and physician shortages. These solutions could ultimately improve access to quality care and expand the healthcare workforce. 

(Medical Economics, March 21, 2023) 

8. End of COVID Emergency Will Usher in Changes Across the US Health System

The end of the US public health emergency in May will bring significant changes, including the expected reinstatement of higher nursing home staff training requirements, concerns about a possible rollback of broader access to buprenorphine, and the need or hospitals comply with federal Medicare rules when waivers expire. 

(Kaiser Health News, March 22, 2023) 

9. Three Key Senators Back Physician Advocacy Priorities

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D), Sheldon Whitehouse (D), and Roger Marshall (R) spoke to physicians and medical association staff at the AMA National Advocacy Conference. 

They discussed priorities such as keeping Medicare physician payments up with inflation, expanding the Conrad 30 waiver program to address physician shortages, and extending incentive payments to physicians participating in alternative payment models. The AMA supports the senators’ bills, and Senator Marshall discussed his proposed legislation, the “Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act,” aimed at reducing prior-authorization burdens in Medicare Advantage. 

(AMA, March 22, 2023) 

That’s it for this month’s edition of In the Interim. Stay tuned for next month’s roundup of newsworthy articles for locum tenens providers. To stay in the loop on future news, follow us on LinkedIn and sign up for our monthly email newsletter for monthly news and job search tips.