THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — High costs are associated with physician turnover and reduced clinical hours attributed to burnout, according to a study published online May 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In a cost-consequence analysis using a mathematical model, Shasha Han, from the National University of Singapore, and colleagues estimated burnout-associated costs related to physician turnover and physicians reducing their clinical hours. The results of contemporary published research findings and industry reports were used to estimate model inputs.

The researchers found that each year, in the United States, about $4.6 billion in costs related to turnover and reduced clinical hours were attributable to burnout on a national scale in the conservative base-case model. In multivariable probabilistic sensitivity analyses, this estimate ranged from $2.6 to $6.3 billion. At the organizational level, per employed physician per year, the annual economic cost associated with burnout related to turnover and reduced clinical hours was about $7,600.

“Traditionally, the case for ameliorating physician burnout has been made primarily on ethical grounds,” the authors write. “Our results suggest that a strong financial basis exists for organizations to invest in remediating physician burnout.”

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