Variation Noted in Physician Turnover Rates From 2010 to 2020

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

No indication of increase in turnover seen during first three quarters of 2020, coincident with COVID-19

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Physician turnover rates increased from 2010 to 2014, then stabilized through 2017, with no indication of an increase during the first three quarters of 2020, coincident with COVID-19, according to a study published online July 11 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Amelia M. Bond, Ph.D., from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues examined whether turnover has changed over time based on a novel method using 100 percent of traditional Medicare billing to create national estimates of turnover.

The researchers found that between 2010 and 2014, the annual rate of turnover increased from 5.3 to 7.2 percent, then was stable through 2017, and increased to 7.6 percent in 2018. Most of the increase from 2010 to 2014 resulted from physicians who stopped practicing (increase from 1.6 to 3.1 percent); the increase due to physicians moving was modest (3.7 to 4.2 percent). Across rurality, physician sex, specialty, and patient characteristics, modest but statistically significant differences were observed. Quarterly turnover was slightly lower in the second and third quarters of 2020 compared with the corresponding quarters of 2019.

“The claims-based method used in this study may be particularly important because reliable annual estimates of physician turnover from national surveys are costly and could have low response rates,” the authors write.

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