A growing number of physicians are adopting EMR software in an effort to deliver more effective patient care. Despite the use of state of the art medical software, however, patient care cannot be improved if there is a shortage of qualified doctors – a problem that appears to be affecting more and more communities across the United States.
1. One reason for the shortage of physicians is new legislation. According to a June survey conducted by the Doctor Patient Medical Association (DPMA), 90 percent of clinicians think the medical system is “on the wrong track” and 83 percent admitted to thinking about quitting. In addition, many doctors said that they were going to stop accepting Medicare and Medicaid so as not to get involved with Meaningful Use.
“I opted out of all insurance six years ago and really enjoy practicing medicine again,” said one survey respondent, a family practice provider from South Carolina. “I have found that many people that do not have insurance are quite happy to pay a reasonable fee for their care.” For patients receiving government aid, however, paying full price for their medical care is not a possibility; and a lack of physicians accepting Medicare and Medicaid is going to affect these patients most.
2. For many students, the high cost of medical school makes them think twice about going into medicine at all. Meanwhile, many others opt for high-paying medical specialties instead of choosing other much-needed specialist fields. Pediatric specialists, for example, require two to three years more training time than other doctors, but their Medicaid reimbursements are less than 30 percent that of Medicare.
Because of this shortage, children requiring pediatric specialists must often wait several months for an appointment. So, even though their physicians are adopting medical software solutions to help provide more comprehensive care, the delay in treatment often makes those improvements futile.
Though EMR software might help improve medical care, more needs to be done to ensure that patients are receiving timely care as well.