One of the major factors affecting the quality of healthcare provided by a doctor is whether they are engaged in their job. A recent study found that independent primary care physicians are more engaged and productive than primary care physicians employed by healthcare organizations.
Researchers interviewed 1,029 primary care physicians. They were asked questions related to their productivity and engagement, and whether they believed they had the necessary tools and resources to care for their patients.
The information was combined with Athenahealth data on productivity (including the work relative value units physicians generate every day).To find that, on average, independent primary care physicians generated 26.9 work relative value units(wRVUs) per day. Hospital-employed physicians, on the other hand, generated just 23.1 wRVUs per day.
*Physician work RVUs – the RVU formula was developed in the 1980s. RVUs are refined and updated every five years. Simply put, physician work RVUs account for the technical skill, judgement, effort, and stress to provide a service. Data from a Harvard study was used to develop the RVU formula.
Around 37.5 percent of primary care physicians who owned or were partners at their practice were more engaged in their practices, whereas just 26.3 percent of PCPs employed by other organizations reported being engaged in their jobs.
While the study did not give any reasons for these differences, many experts believe that a self-employed PCP is more likely to feel connected to their practice as they have a personal stake in its success.
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