(HealthDay)—The top ten challenges for physicians in 2014 relate to payment for medical services and government mandates, as well as adapting to a changing patient population and the need to improve work-life balance, according to an article published Dec. 25 in Medical Economics.
Jeffrey Bendix, a senior editor at Medical Economics, and colleagues discuss the top 10 challenges facing physicians in 2014, which may mean that physicians have to reengineer workloads, workflows, and staff responsibilities, but could offer the opportunity for more autonomy, better quality of life, and less interference in the physician-patient relationship.
The authors note that one of the main challenges for 2014 relates to payment for medical services, particularly with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as well as changing payment trends. Primary care will need to reassess technology use, engage patients in new ways, and reinvent its services to patients in line with these changes. A second challenge is government mandates, with four major government-sponsored requirements affecting practices in 2014, including the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, coding system. Other challenges include finding time for patients despite escalating administrative work; technology costs; staffing and training; changing patient populations; adapting to the changing role of primary care; and improving the work-life balance.
"The unavoidable fact is that unhappy physicians make for a poorer health care system," the authors write. "Fixing the issues of physician work-life balance is a major component to improving health care in the United States."