'Physicians continue to get the short end of the stick': Why this leader is concerned about declining pay 

Sri Sundaram, MD, electrophysiologist at South Denver (Colo.) Cardiology Associates, joined Becker's to discuss why declining physician pay is the trend he's the most concerned about in 2023. 

Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for clarity and length. 

Sri Sundaram: "Medicare physician payment has effectively declined 26% since 2001 — and that is before inflation and the finalized pay cut for 2024 are factored in, according to the American Medical Association."

This is the lead sentence in an article that was sent to me today by Becker's. This is the healthcare trend that I am most worried about in 2024. Physicians continue to get the short end of the stick in the American healthcare system. Hospitals are getting increased reimbursement and insurance companies are making record profits for their services while physicians continue to get less. No wonder the number of primary physicians is shrinking and there is a shortage of physicians nationwide. The best and brightest will no longer want to go into medicine with the declines in payment. In addition, medical practice expenses are increasing. As long as we continue this system, there will be less physicians at a time when the U.S. population is growing and getting older.

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