Is imaging helping or hurting part-time physician employment?

A 2018 annual survey by MedAxiom has revealed that the number of part-time cardiologists is declining despite the assumption that health systems are doing enough to employ and keep competent physicians, according to a report published Oct. 16 by Cardiovascular Business.  

The report—which included responses from 186 healthcare groups and 2,637 physicians—showed that part-time physicians account for 5.9 percent of the total cardiology workforce, according to the article, compared to 13 percent in 2013.  

“If I recruit a physician to work both day and night, I may not have enough volume to keep them busy during the day because I have these part-time physicians who are still working days but not taking nights, and then you get into a challenge of I’m not doing enough procedure volume to stay competent, I’m not reading enough echos and nukes and other diagnostic imaging to stay competent,” Joel Sauer, the author of the report and vice president at MedAxiom Consulting, told Cardiovascular Business. “There’s just not enough to go around of that daytime work. So that’s the big tug-of-war.” 

The average number of catheterizations per 1,000 patients among responding practices dropped to 68 in 2017 and has been steadily dropping since 2014.  However, Sauer attributed the steady number of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) to advances in noninvasive imaging, such as PET imaging and also CT angiography with fractional flow reserve and functional assessments of stenosis.

Read Cardiovascular Business’ entire article below.