Physician burnout costs healthcare system $4.6B, study finds

Turnover and fewer clinical hours stemming from physician burnout is costing the U.S. healthcare system approximately $4.6 billion, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers estimated the potential costs to the healthcare system through mathematical models, and previously published research findings.

The key details to know:

1. The $4.6 billion total breaks down to a loss of $7,600 per physician each year at the organizational level due to burnout. The researchers attributed that loss to physicians reducing clinical hours and leaving organizations, resulting in turnover.

2. The researchers found that conservatively, burnout costs the U.S. health system in the range of $2.6 billion to $6.3 billion.

3. The researchers concluded that organizations can reduce burnout through investment, policy changes and burnout reduction programs for physicians.

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