For Immediate Release 
January 3, 2023

 

Legislature, Governor Must Work Together to Address Physician Burnout Crisis

 

Statement Attributable to:
Parag Mehta, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York 

“As the Legislature begins the 2023 Legislative session, physician leaders from across New York State welcome the opportunity to work with Governor Hochul and members of the New York State Legislature to enhance patient access to needed care, particularly in underserved communities across the State.

“This year it is important to address the “physician burnout” crisis that, together with other existing health care shortages facing our state, is expected to exacerbate existing health care access issues in New York. Our state’s dedicated and world-renowned physicians are being driven to the brink by a perfect storm of Medicare cuts, the country’s highest liability insurance costs, and excessive and unnecessary authorization and claim hassles imposed by enormously profitable health insurance companies.  New York regularly receives the dubious distinction of being one of the worst states in the country to be a doctor. All of these factors are accelerating rates of physician “burnout,” which according to a 2022 Physician Foundation Survey is now affecting 62% of physicians (as compared to 40% in 2018). Furthermore, the 2022 Medscape Physician Suicide Report found that one in 10 of surveyed physicians said they had considered or attempted suicide. Recent studies have shown that the rate of suicidal thoughts among physicians is higher than in the general population (7.2% vs 4%).

“We are particularly disappointed that the Governor vetoed two bills passed by the New York State Legislature to reduce unnecessary health insurer interference in care delivery and thereby help to reduce “burnout.”  One bill eliminated unnecessary medication “fail first” protocols for mental health medications (S5909). The second bill ensured qualified health plan claim review (A879).   However, we are hopeful that the Governor will work with the Legislature, as promised in her veto messages, to craft new legislation that will reduce these unnecessary patient disruptions to needed care as well as better ensure that our State’s dedicated physicians can spend more time delivering care to their patients, rather than on the phone with health insurance bureaucrats.

Our state’s physicians stand ready to work with all towards improving patient access to our health care system to ensure all can receive quality care they expect and deserve.”

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Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all. 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia | Manager, Communications
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Avenue
Westbury, NY 11590
516.488.6100 x302 | rraia@mssny.org

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