New York officials are being urged by a top doctors' organization to address burnout among physicians amid broader health care shortages across the state.
The push from the Medical Society of the State of New York comes as hospitals and health care networks have been strained by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the additional challenges this winter of a rise in flu and RSV cases around the state.
The group's president, Parag Mehta, pointed to factors that have made burnout for doctors worse, including high liability insurance costs, authorization and claim requirements.
"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," he said.
New York is considered one of the worst states in the country to be a doctor. Meanwhile, a survey last year found 62% of doctors say they are suffering from burnout, a rise from 40% in 2018. A separate report found one in 10 physicians surveyed have either contemplated or attempted suicide.
Mehta pointed to legislation that could alleviate issues for doctros, including ending so-called "fail first" requirements for mental health medications and a measure meant to ensure qualified health plan claim review. Both measures were vetoed by Gov. Kathy Hochul at the end of the year.
"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,” Mehta said.
Hospitals, meanwhile, have said they are stretched to the financial breaking point in parts of upstate New York, and have urged state lawmakers for help in the coming budget, due at the end of March.