On June 23, AUA Public Policy Council Chair Dr. Christopher Gonzalez participated in a policy roundtable discussion on physician burnout that was sponsored by the House GOP Doctors Caucus on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers have a real interest in learning about burnout and its impact on each provider group, what various associations are doing to try and address the problem, and what Congress can do to help with the problem as well.
As background, the GOP Doctors Caucus is made up of various medical providers (16) in Congress who utilize their medical expertise to develop patient-centered health care policy. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) also were asked to participate in the discussion. A total of seven caucus members were in attendance, including co-chair Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-TN-01), and Reps. Andy Harris, MD (R-MD-01), Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-OH-02), Brian Babin, DDS (R-TX-36), Roger Marshall, MD (KS-01), Buddy Carter, BSPharm (GA-01), and urologist, Neal Dunn, MD (R-FL-02).
Dr. Gonzalez used the opportunity to speak on physician burnout and its effects on the already existing workforce shortage, particularly in the urologic space. He highlighted the AUA’s annual census data on burnout, which showed particular scores higher among the under-45 age group and that 25 percent of all residents surveyed said that they suffer from burnout. He also noted how regulatory and insurance burdens, such as meeting prior authorization requirements, contribute greatly to physician burnout and present unnecessary obstacles to patient care. Finally, Dr. Gonzalez shared a handout with the members of Congress and their staff, showing various key stats and data points about the urologic workforce, particularly as it relates to the growing problem of physician burnout within the specialty. (View the handout.)
Moving forward, the AUA will continue to collaborate with other provider groups such as ACEP and AAN by sharing data and pooling together evidence to share with lawmakers in an effort to help address this very serious matter. In addition, the AUA maintains ongoing communication with other entities such as the newly created Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of Clinician Engagement to further identify and address the issue of burnout. In fact, by partnering with CMS, the AUA plans to develop best practices on the identification and remediation of burnout in the near future.
The AUA remains committed to addressing various workforce issues surrounding the specialty of urology. If you have any questions regarding the AUA’s ongoing advocacy efforts in Washington, DC, please contact the Government Relations & Advocacy Department at GovernmentRelations@AUAnet.org or 202-403-8500.