Physician turnover has hit a new high.
Medical groups reported an average turnover rate of 6.8 percent in 2012, the highest rate since 2005, the first year data was collected from Cejka Search and the American Medical Group Association as part of its annual physician retention survey.
The survey also reported turnover of 11.5 percent among advanced practice clinicians, which includes physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
The 2012 turnover rate increased slightly from 6.5 percent in 2011, but was significantly higher than the lowest rate of 5.9 percent reported in 2009 at the depth of the recession.
And medical groups don’t expect relief in turnover in the coming year — 36 percent of the groups expect the physician retirement rate to increase in 2013.
The newly released report indicates that competition to hire and retain top-performing physicians will intensify as retirement accelerates among an aging physician workforce and health reform increases the demand for primary care.
Doctor groups have been warning that the influx of new patients under reform, on top of the already growing physician shortage, will have profound implications for patient access to medical care.
Donald Fisher, president and chief executive officer of AMGA, said the findings provide evidence that recruitment and retention continue to be major challenges for health systems.
“To rise to these challenges, medical groups are demonstrating remarkable leadership by investing in new staffing and delivery models, building and nurturing their teams in a strategic way, and making accountable care work for their patients and their communities,” Fisher said.
The highest turnover is in late and early years of practice, the survey found.
The survey reflects responses from 80 physician groups that collectively employ 19,596 physicians.
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