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Kyruus Blog

Strategies for Outsmarting the Physician Shortage

Over the past several months, more and more healthcare analysts have started to raise concerns about an impending physician shortage. The argument is highlighted by the expected influx of new patients this year as Obamacare enables millions of people to obtain insurance and presumably begin accessing the healthcare system as never before. While ambulatory visits had already been increasing by an average of 2.1% per year since 2000, [i] this new demand is expected to push total outpatient visits to 812 million by 2020.

Topics: Information Access Physician Referrals ambulatory services Physicians patient outmigration physician shortage Personnel outpatient volumes Hospitals leakage Patient Access

The Patient Access Paradox

Why is that we as patients are told to wait weeks, if not months, to see a physician, when in fact many provider organizations are only operating at 50-60% capacity?

Our nation's healthcare system suffers from a mismatch between patient demand and provider supply, something that we refer to as the "Patient Access Paradox". Almost everyone has had a personal experience with the problem of long appointment wait times, which range between 3 and 30 weeks across the country for both primary and specialist care. Yet at the same time, our hospital clients experience as low as 50-60% physician productivity, struggling to "unlock" the capacity that is buried somewhere in their provider networks.

Topics: Information Access Physician Referrals capacity management nurse practitioners physician shortage patient access paradox doctors appointments Big Data Physician Network Strategy Hospitals Patient Access

The Cutting Room Floor: Doctor "Abridgement" and How to Fix It

I've been a fan of audiobooks for quite a long time, since the days when publishers preferred to publish abridged versions of books. That practice drove me absolutely crazy. I wanted to hear the whole book, but a publisher explained to me at one point that customers wouldn’t like the bulk and expense of all the cassette tapes needed for such a product. I could see their point, and yet I didn’t think they were looking at the big picture.

Topics: Information Access Physician Referrals Physicians capacity management physician shortage patient experience kyruus Concept Posts Hospitals Appointment Wait Times Patient Access

Wait, Wait, Don't Treat Them

According to a survey conducted ­by healthcare consulting firm Merritt Hawkins [1], patients in major metropolitan areas can expect to wait an average of 18.5 days to see a doctor. In some areas and specialties, things were far worse than the study’s national average. For instance, in Boston, wait times for specialists in cardiology, dermatology, orthopedic surgery and obstetrics / gynecology averaged over 45 days; for a family practitioner, Bostonians can expect to wait more than 2 months (or 66 days) for an appointment. To make matters worse, the study was conducted this summer – before the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect.

Topics: Physicians wait times physician shortage patient experience kyruus outpatient volumes Hospitals Appointment Wait Times Patient Access