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Morning Medical Update: Emailing your doctor could soon cost you; Understanding why patients are given unnecessary care; Average pay for doctors dropped 2.4% in 2022


The top news stories in primary care today.

Emailing your doctor could soon cost you

Patients may soon be charged for sending their doctor an email, according to a recent New York Times article. At participating offices, prices range from $10 to $100 depending on insurance. “Billing a patient’s health insurance supports the necessary decision-making and time commitment of our physicians and other advanced professional providers,” explains Angela Smith, a spokeswoman for the Cleveland Clinic, in a press release.

Understanding why patients are given unnecessary care

New data suggests that 11 to 13 percent of international care is placebo. In another survey, 72% of U.S. doctors confessed that they give low-value care daily. The hypothesis? People like to be cared for, even if it means getting an antibiotic for a viral infection. In her doctoral thesis, Sara Ingvarsson, researcher at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, examines this phenomenon.

Average pay for doctors dropped 2.4% in 2022

During a year when U.S. healthcare workers faced significant challenges, the average pay for their work dropped 2.4% according to this report. This comes after the increase in pay in 2021. In addition to the pay cut, burnout adds to the stress. In a separate survey of over 2,000 physicians, 66.7% reported that they were considering an employment change.

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