Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Ishani Ganguly, leading the study team, said that we question whether we are paying what we really care about in health care.
Ganguly and colleagues looked at billing and time data for primary care doctors in the US in 2017, covering more than 24 million visits.
“We calculated that women were paid 87 cents for every hour they worked, compared to their male colleagues,” Ganguly told CNN.
Female doctors spent an average of two minutes more per visit than men. Ganguly said that it does not sound much, but it increases over time. And they are not chit-chatting that time.
“When you compare during travel, women were actually higher during travel,” said Ganguly, the primary care provider himself. “They put in more medical orders, they discussed more medical diagnoses and preventive care. They are spending more time per visit.”
Ganguly and his team were not sitting on trips, so they could not say exactly what was going on. “We are clueing from billing information what orders have been given for blood tests, or what the diagnosis was talked about,” she said.
But other studies have indicated that patients and doctors alike prefer to spend more time in visits, and that patients are better off, healthier, when physicians spend more time with them.
“Per visit, primary care provider, after adjusting for patient and travel characteristics, female primary care providers generated similar revenue, but spent 15.7% more time with a patient.”
“We know that all primary care doctors are tied to time and doctors and patients want more time,” Ganguly said.
“So it seems that female doctors are spending that time, but at a cost. Female doctors are reacting to pressure from society and to pay attention and talk to patients. And through male doctor visits the society Are responding to the pressure. So they can make more money from those trips. ”
Hannah Napresh, a health economist at the Minnesota School of Public Health who worked on the study, said the findings show that the American health system pays physicians using a flawed formula.
“Female physicians report the highest rates of burnout and our findings may help explain why. If prolonged seizures contribute to feelings of low pressure and chaotic work environments – for low pay – this understanding. Comes in that job satisfaction may decrease, ”she said. in a statement.
Male physicians are even better. “We also found evidence of billing differentials,” the team wrote.
“Although female primary care providers documented more diagnoses and placed more orders, they were more likely to miss opportunities to bill high-paying visit codes based on time spent with patients, a finding that one The results were consistent with showing that female radiation oncologists adopted less attractive procedures than their male counterparts. “