Chicago’s Largest Doctor Groups Struggling With COVID Burnout: Crane Study

“Burnout is not a new problem, but it needs to be addressed,” Nelson said. The CEO has been in the healthcare industry for nearly 34 years and notes that burnout was discussed in his classes back in the 1980s. But now, with COVID, burnout is a hot topic. Healthcare is inherently a stressful industry. “It doesn’t take much to build pressure. Add COVID to it, and they will suddenly talk about it, ”he said.

Burnout is also costly. According to a recent study Led by the American Medical Association of Chicago, the US economy incurs nearly $979 million in excess health care spending annually due to physician turnover. Nearly $260 million of that amount is due to burnout.

Luckily, the Chicago area doesn’t have to worry too much about doctor turnover in the largest doctor groups. In the top 25 organizations this year, the number of doctors increased by 3.2% compared to 2020.

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Overall, overall employment in physician groups is also on the rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Chicago metro area saw an increase in doctor office employment throughout 2021, even compared to the pre-COVID period. The metro area saw a sharp 7.85% decrease in employment from March 2020 to April 2020. However, as the months passed, employment slowly increased. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of December 2021, about 55,500 people worked in doctors’ offices, up 2.4% from December 2020. This is the highest number of employees in doctors’ offices in a decade.

For the organizations that top Crain’s list of local doctor groups, providing counseling services has been key to making employees feel better. Amita Health Medical Group, No. 11 on this year’s list with $299 million in net income and 700 physicians, has held support sessions for its staff in response to the mounting stress of COVID, according to Olga Solares, assistant vice president of communications. and the media. relationships at Amita Health.

“These anonymous sessions, originally held several times a week, ensured that the emotional needs of our doctors and staff were met, given the stress and many unknowns associated with the pandemic. These virtual support sessions continue today,” the written statement said.

Northwestern Medical Group, third in this year’s rankings with $1.2 billion in net income and 1,874 physicians, has created the Physician Welfare Program, which offers a peer-to-peer support network for physicians and recuperation rooms.

“Physician-Physician Network provides complementary peer-to-peer support services for physicians experiencing occupational and pandemic stressors,” said Christopher King, Northwestern Medicine’s chief executive officer of media relations. Relaxation rooms are equipped with heated massage chairs, subdued lighting and meditation guides. King notes that these improvements have “transformed our primary break room from a community workspace to a recovery and refueling space.”

Duly Health & Care takes a holistic approach to addressing major health concerns. Nelson notes that the group uses four tactics to combat burnout:

  • Creating a trusted listening and honest feedback platform where employees can have open conversations about a topic.
  • Providing real resources to support a balanced effort such as mindfulness or nutrition apps.
  • Providing physicians with additional options for patient care, such as adding a 24/7 nurse triage service.
  • Ensure the safety of staff and patients, for example by requiring vaccinations. “If our employees can’t stay healthy to save people, no one can,” Nelson said.

The group increased net revenue by 27.3%, earning a total of $1.4 billion in 2021. The number of physicians also duly increased by 37.3%, last year with a total of 1,020 physicians, although the group’s growth is mainly attributed to the purchase of South Bend Clinic in September and Quincy Medical Group in December.

As Chicago continues to lead life and business with COVID-19, Nelson argues that in order to make healthcare better, we must all take responsibility. “I have hope,” he said. “My hope is that many smart and dedicated people will come together to make healthcare better.”

The full version of the Excel list contains 28 groups of doctors. The list includes 2021 net revenue, number of physicians, outpatient visits, and other exclusive data. To download the full list, go to Crane Data Member and visit us Data center.

This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crane’s Chicago business.

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