Physicians are fed up — and ASCs may have an edge

As the field of medicine faces an exodus of physicians, plummeting job satisfaction and skyrocketing costs, the future of healthcare may seem grim. However, ASCs have an opportunity larger hospitals and health systems do not.

Medicine is facing a potential shortage of ​​124,000 physicians by 2034. This is no surprise, given growing levels of burnout, career dissatisfaction and unhappiness among physicians of all specialties.

This dissatisfaction among physicians is not unique to those new to the field. According to Medscape's "Physicians Eye Retirement 2023 Report," burnout is a key factor in why physicians are retiring. According to the report, 74% of physicians planning to retire want to due to burnout from medicine.

In light of this, changes likely are needed to retain physicians and increase morale among providers. Because of this, ASCs could have an advantage. 

ASCs, particularly independent ones, have smaller staffs and do not report to a massive health system. Any policy, staffing or practice changes often can be decided — and implemented — on a practice-by-practice basis with less red tape to navigate compared to that of multipractice, multihospital health systems.

Healthcare leaders such as Catherine Chang, MD, vice president and chief quality officer for ambulatory and clinical councils of Greenville, S.C.-based Prisma Health, recognize this need and are optimistic about the potentials ASCs hold. 

"Moving into more efficient and more cost-effective care settings that are producing the same excellent outcomes is a benefit to everybody," Dr. Chang told Becker's. "But primarily, hopefully patients are not going to get that cost burden and still get a good outcome. 

"I'm just really excited to see that happen and the opportunities that it will open up for us as a company and what it'll be able to do for the patient population. The way we deliver care in the United States continues to evolve for a lot of good reasons."

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