Growth of healthcare administrators outpaced physicians, increasing 3,200% between 1975-2010

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While the number of practicing physicians in the U.S. grew 150 percent between 1975 and 2010, the number of healthcare administrators increased 3,200 percent during the same period, according to data cited by athenainsight.

Supporters state the growing number of administrators is necessary to compete with the significant technological and regulatory changes affecting the way healthcare was delivered during the timeframe.

However, critics argue the increase in healthcare administrators does little to mitigate the documentation burdens placed on physicians as a result of the shift to EHRs, according to the report.

"Since the early 1980s, there has been a consolidation and aggregation of larger and larger physician groups in our health system, some affiliated with one or more hospitals. Then there's the trend of hospitals merging into larger networks," Marilu Bintz, MD, senior vice president of population health and strategy at La Crosse, Wis.-based Gundersen Health System, told athenainsight.

"If we're saying the sheer number of administrators is compromising relations between physicians and patients, I disagree. I don't believe the number itself is a key factor. The key is for [physicians and administrators] to come together and deal with that complexity," she added.

To read the full report, click here.

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