Navigation Links
Less-experienced physicians more costly than more-experienced physicians
Date:11/5/2012

Physicians with the least experience spend significantly more money treating patients than physicians who have the most experience, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

The findings, published in the November edition of the journal Health Affairs, are from the first study to examine the link between physician characteristics and medical costs.

Researchers say the findings could have significant implications for less-experienced physicians, who might be excluded from contracting networks or face lower payments as both private insurers and government programs look to reward health care providers who deliver quality care at a lower cost.

"These findings are provocative, but they warrant further examination and need to be affirmed by additional studies," said lead author Dr. Ateev Mehrotra, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "However, it is possible that one driver of health care costs is that newly trained physicians practice a more-costly style of medicine."

Commercial health plans and Medicare are using cost profiles to identify which physicians account for more health care spending than others, while devising strategies to reward those who provide quality care at a lower cost.

To identify which physician types might be costlier than others, researchers used commercial health plan claims for more than 1 million Massachusetts residents from 2004 and 2005 to construct cost profiles for more than 12,000 physicians in the state. Costs were evaluated across 600 types of "episodes of care" that included a patient's illness and the severity of their disease, including whether a procedure was performed.

Physicians who had less than 10 years of experience had 13.2 percent higher overall costs than physicians with 40 or more years of experience. Physicians with 10 to 19 years of experience had cost profiles that were 10 percent higher, those with 20 to 29 years of experience were 6.5 percent higher and those with 30 to 39 years of experience were 2.5 percent higher.

No association was found between costs and other characteristics such as having had a malpractice claim or disciplinary action, whether a physician was board certified or the size of the medical practice where a physician worked. The study did not attempt to judge the quality of care provided.

Researchers say the cost difference noted by the study does not suggest that less-experienced physicians provide better medical care. Previous research has found only a weak relationship between quality and spending.

Because the use of cost profiles is relatively new and such tools are still being refined, researchers are cautious about the findings.

"Our findings cannot be considered final, but they do underscore the need to better understand physician practice patterns and what influences that behavior," Mehrotra said.

There are a number of factors that may explain the findings, researchers say. Recently trained physicians may be more familiar with and more likely to use new, expensive treatment modalities than older physicians. In addition, it is possible that newer physicians' lack of experience and uncertainty translates into more-aggressive medical care. Less-experienced physicians also may attract patients with problems that are harder to address and the current cost profiling methods may not adequately account for these differences.

As newer physicians gain more experience and have longer relationships with their patients, their practice patterns may change and become less costly. However, it also is possible that the cost differences remain throughout the careers of the newly trained physicians.

Researchers say the study's findings highlight the need for postgraduate training programs and specialty medical boards to educate physicians about their responsibility to be good stewards of health care resources.


'/>"/>

Contact: Warren Robak
robak@rand.org
310-451-6913
RAND Corporation
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. U-M guidelines help family physicians evaluate, manage urinary incontinence for women
2. Physicians suggest expert recommendations ignore vital issues for patients
3. Does gallows humor among physicians encourage accusations of murder and euthanasia?
4. American College of Physicians awarded 3-year federal grant to increase adult immunization rates
5. DNA wires could help physicians diagnose disease
6. Miriam researchers urge physicians to ask younger men about erectile dysfunction symptoms
7. Physicians dont adequately monitor patients medication adherence
8. AFTS Labs Partners With Physicians To Complement NY's Mandated I-STOP Tracking System For Pain Pill Prescriptions: A Recipe For A Safer Community
9. AFARs MSTAR program addresses shortage of geriatric medicine physicians
10. American Academy of Family Physicians joins AmericanEHR Partners
11. Surgeon General receives 2012 Distinguished Public Service Award from internal medicine physicians
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... Total Security Integrated ... selected as the partner of choice by Amtrak to fulfill several projects in ... medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States. Security Executives at ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... MD (PRWEB) , ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... “joy of living” aboard the line’s latest all-inclusive boutique ship, S.S. Joie de ... she was built specifically for cruising France’s Seine River and designed small enough to ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... The law firm of ... his installation as the president of the DuPage County Bar Association’s Board of Directors. ... Dinner June 9 at the Drake in Oak Brook. Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC attorney ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... The joyful summer wedding season is ... a humdinger. A warm winter and wet spring have created ideal conditions for mosquitoes ... to be swatting away pesky mosquitoes when a bride and groom are saying their ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Haute Beauty welcomes Dr. Hayes Gladstone, a ... and wellness experts. , With two decades of experience in reconstructive and aesthetic ... restoration. , Heading the successful Gladstone Clinic in San Ramon, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/9/2017)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 9, 2017 ... with diabetes. In a further effort to help spread ... by this condition, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and ... have come together for the second phase of the ... programme (BRIDGES 2), reaffirming their commitment to helping people ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... -- Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) ... Joseph R. Goodwin , U.S. District Court Judge for ... , entered a case management order in MDL 2325, ... Litigation (the "MDL") that includes a provision requiring plaintiffs ... on specific causation within one hundred twenty (120) days ...
(Date:6/5/2017)... 2017 Kohll,s Pharmacy & Homecare is the first distributor ... States . The Raizer is a simple battery operated ... to an almost-standing position within a few minutes. ... assistant and does not require any extra effort besides ... child can operate it, and lightweight and portable ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: